Bromley hotel wins go-ahead in face of protests over heritage threat
PUBLISHED: 16:07 29 September 2010
Controversial plans for a 92-bed hotel have been approved despite objections from residents and heritage groups.
A Bromley council planning committee unanimously passed the plans for the Travelodge hotel, with underground parking for 34 cars, at the corner of London Road and Blyth Road, Bromley.
But a heritage group says that the building’s design would detract from the historical nature of Blyth Road, which has been recommended as a conservation area.
President of Bromley Civic Society Tony Banfield said: “This was the wrong decision. It is too big for Blyth Road and from street view will be twice the size of the other buildings, and it is not in character with the street.”
The approval, confirmed last Thursday, comes after a similar plan for a six-storey, 97-bed hotel was rejected by councillors in December last year because the development would be “particularly harmful on the properties in Blyth Road by reasons of its size and design”.
Travelodge, the firm behind the most recent application, plans to start building on the site as soon as possible, with the aim of opening the hotel in time for the Olympics in 2012.
The company estimates that the new hotel will generate some £1million for other businesses in the area. It has pledged to take all its entry-level staff from the long-term unemployed.
Tony O’Brien, UK planning director at Travelodge, said: “I am delighted that the planning committee unanimously approved the application.
“Despite being a location that is perfect for both business and leisure travellers, Bromley has a shortage of hotel rooms. We have long wanted a site in the town and ideally will locate another one soon. I have no doubt that when this hotel opens it will quickly prove to be one of our top-performing locations.”
The existing building at 37 London Road, which will now be torn down, was home to coachbuilding firm James Young, which manufactured bodies for Rolls-Royce cars.
The company, founded in 1863, designed and built luxury cars until it closed in 1979.
Mr Banfield added: “It is a real pity that they haven’t shown an interest in the old building, as it is an important piece of local history.”