Hotel plan turned down

PLANS for a 77-room hotel on the outskirts of Colchester have been turned down by councillors.The move comes despite a recent report which identified the need for more hotel rooms in and around the town if it is to meet its potential as a tourist destination.

PLANS for a 77-room hotel on the outskirts of Colchester have been turned down by councillors.

The move comes despite a recent report which identified the need for more hotel rooms in and around the town if it is to meet its potential as a tourist destination.

Colchester Borough Council's planning committee decided the proposed site - in Cymbeline Way next to the Spring Lane roundabout - went against their policies. Planners said it was in a conservation area, had poor bus routes and highway safety.

In a report for councillors, the Highways Authority warned the hotel's location would create more traffic on the already busy road.

And due to the short supply of bus services people would make short car journeys into town creating more carbon emissions - going against the council's environment policy.

Peter Chillingworth, planning committee chairman, said: “The plans were refused because the site is positioned in a conservation area which is not an appropriate place for development.

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“The Highways Authority was also against the site as it would create even more traffic on a main road.

The Humbert's Report, produced for the council in 2007, stated the need for around 400 new hotel rooms in Colchester and the surrounding area, including sites near the proposed new cultural quarter and Vineyard Gate development.

However, the application for the development on Cymbeline Way was not identified as a priority site.

The council received 32 letters against the plans, including one from town MP Bob Russell, and only three letters of support.

The letters referred to the fact that the four-storey development would be a “visual eyesore”, inappropriate for the conservation area, would be at risk of flooding due to the low-lying position and could lead to the loss of wildlife habitat.

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