Two hotels proposed for Ipswich

PLANS for two major mid-market hotels for Ipswich, overlooking the river and the docks, have been submitted.Ramcore Hotels are hoping to build a 127-bedroom hotel on the CompAir Reavell site on the Ranelagh Road.

PLANS for two major mid-market hotels for Ipswich, overlooking the River Orwell and the docks, have been submitted.

Ramcore Hotels are hoping to build a 127-bedroom hotel on the CompAir Reavell site on the Ranelagh Road. Meanwhile, Persimmon Homes/Sandringham Investments in Witham, Essex, are seeking permission for a 111-bedroom hotel with café and an office building at Griffin Wharf, Hawes Street.

Both have submitted planning applications with Ipswich Borough Council this month.

The applications underline the huge regeneration which is taking place around the town's docks area.

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Ramcore Hotels is a joint venture involving property and leisure company The Kennedy Group of Coleraine and hotel management firm BDL Management Ltd of Glasgow.

It announced plans to develop hotels worth hundreds of millions of pounds across Britain, including one in Ipswich, back in June.

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It aims to complete up to 40 contemporary lifestyle hotels under the Ramada Encore brand by 2012.

Applicants Ramcore Operations Ltd wants to build a three and four storey hotel, with floor space of 4,187m sq and an enclosed roof plant area. Also within the proposals are 30 car parking spaces in a courtyard area.

Detailed planning permission was granted in April 2006 for 358 homes on the Compair site, with 15 live/work units and more than 6,500m sq of commercial floor space in three to 12-storey blocks. The plans included building a bridge over the river and new vehicular access.

In January of this year, permission was granted for a four-storey office block and three to four storey hotel on the south-east part of the site.

The hotel proposed in the latest application would include seven bedrooms which would be fully accessible to wheelchair users, a restaurant, bar and meeting rooms for guest use. The building would be finished in a combination of panelling, brick and render to give it a contemporary style.

Ramcore, which has opened a hotel in Milton Keynes and has sites at various stages in Birmingham, Glasgow, London, Warrington and Gloucester, said it did not want to comment on the plans at this stage.

The Persimmon Homes/Sandringham Investments proposals for Griffin Wharf in Hawes Street are for a four to five storey building. Their plans for the site, described as a vacant former industrial site, are for a 2,775m sq office building and a 3,838m sq hotel.

Colin Atkinson, a manager with Sandringham Investments, a property developers and hotel operators company, said the issue of branding was part of internal ongoing discussions.

He said they were aiming to build a good, mid-market hotel, but that he was not in a position to discuss the application in more detail at the moment.

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