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East Anglia Future 50

Travelodge developer speaks of his vision for Etna Road site in Bury St Edmunds

PUBLISHED: 17:45 24 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:45 24 March 2017

An impression of the planned Travelodge and drive-thru Starbucks off Etna Road in Bury St Edmunds.

An impression of the planned Travelodge and drive-thru Starbucks off Etna Road in Bury St Edmunds.

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Mike Spenser-Morris, of NHP Holdings, would pump millions of pounds into the proposed Travelodge and Starbucks development in Bury St Edmunds.

Mike Spenser-Morris, owner of NHP Holdings.Mike Spenser-Morris, owner of NHP Holdings.

The developer behind plans for a Travelodge hotel in Bury St Edmunds has spoken of his vision for a “high quality” scheme that will create an attractive approach into the town.

Mike Spenser-Morris is a Bury resident whose company NHP Holdings have worked on projects around the country, but the planned scheme off Etna Road, near the Tesco supermarket, would be his first commercial development in his hometown.

There would also be a drive-thru Starbucks cafe on the site.

Mr Spenser-Morris, who owns Langton Place in Bury’s medieval grid, said “scruffy” Compiegne Way - which Etna Road is off - and the former Taylor Wimpey offices site had been on his radar for years.

His aim is to replace Tartan House with a “very high quality building” with great landscaping, including semi-mature trees, as well as improving the riverscape of the Lark.

The hotel would have 80 bedrooms with 80 parking spaces, with the car parks on both sides of the river and connected by a pedestrian bridge.

Mr Spenser-Morris, who will plough millions of pounds into the development, said: “What I want is to transform the appearance of the site into something that would look wonderful.”

Also, a design and access statement with the planning application said the hotel had been designed to present an “upmarket image” for the Travelodge.

Mr Spenser-Morris said his decision to put a hotel on the site was influenced by discussions with business leader Mark Cordell, adding it would address a shortage of hotel accommodation in the town.

“The location is right beside the A14, it’s less than five minutes’ walk from the station and it’s an easy walking distance from the town centre. There really couldn’t be a better location for this to be,” he said.

Mr Cordell said: “The Premier Inn appears to have been a success and the opportunity to have a new national brand in the town I think is a good thing.”

Some neighbours have lodged concerns over the plans, including fears there would be more traffic, but Mr Spenser-Morris did not believe there would be a noticeable difference from when the Taylor Wimpey offices were open.

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