Hotel will boost local economy – and improve ‘brutish’ eyesore

Premier Inn Tunbridge Wells

Further details have emerged on what Premier Inn has planned for Merevale House, the London Road building currently occupied by the county and family court.

Documents which were made public last week show the first glimpse of what the redeveloped building will look like, and reveal the firm has already spent £12,320 in fees for their planning application.

Premier Inn states the provision of an additional 110 beds is ‘much needed’ in Tunbridge Wells, and expects 40,953 overnight stays per year.

The chain believes this will equate to £1,675,796 of visitor spending to benefit the local economy, stating:

“There are therefore significant positive economic impacts that will be generated by this hotel development and that should be given appropriate weight as material considerations to the positive determination of
this application.”

They also reveal details of the 41 full-time equivalent jobs that will be needed when the hotel is operational, including 14 housekeepers, four night receptionists, eight kitchen employees, the head chef and various levels of management.

In a rebuff to those claiming a new hotel will increase traffic congestion in the area, the document claims it will in fact generate ‘less travel demand than the existing use of the site’ and they are providing ‘adequate’ capacity for car parking requirements.

The documents refer to Torrington Car Park in Vale Avenue as an example of an adjacent car park which will be frequently used by guests, adding: “The availability of convenient, low-priced parking nearby will mean that the hotel will not cause any unacceptable impact on parking in the surrounding streets, which are themselves subject to on-street parking restrictions which would generally limit their availability for use by hotel guests.”

Describing Merevale House as looking ‘particularly intrusive and brutish’, the hotel said it plans to ‘significantly improve’ its appearance – in a manner that will ‘better reflect and complement the character and appearance of the nearby listed buildings’.

The materials used will be predominantly stone cladding and brick to reflect the architecture of the adjacent Tunbridge Wells Bridge Club and the former Post Office, according to the documents.

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