Plans for an 80 bedroom hotel on the site of a town centre car park have been roundly condemned before the proposal has even been discussed in the council chambers.
Liberal Democrat Nick Perry, who hopes to be the town’s next MP, has roundly condemned the proposal that was made public earlier today, Mr Perry says: “This is exactly the kind of poor judgement from council leader Peter Chowney that resulted in him closing the town centre toilets.
“We don’t need a hotel here, we need well-designed social housing with dedicated green space and play facilities.”
Hastings Borough Council (HBC) issued a press release earlier today saying that the Cornwallis street car park had been earmarked for potential development.
When HBC’s cabinet meets on October 7th they will consider whether to advertise the Cornwallis Street site for development as a hotel. The council has been approached by a developer for the redevelopment of the site into an 80 bedroom hotel and restaurant.
Council leader Councillor Peter Chowney says: “This car park was earmarked for development in our local plan. We had intended to develop it for housing, but Hastings is desperately short of tourism accommodation, so the idea of a new town centre hotel, within walking distance of the train station and town centre, is an exciting prospect.
“Based on standard occupancy rates there would be about 35,000 people staying overnight each year. That’s a huge benefit for tourism and the night-time economy in the town centre.
“Extra people in the town centre at evenings and weekends would offer retail shops and restaurants a real boost for their businesses and the hotel will provide additional employment.”
In the statement issued by the council today it points out that it will seek offers from other developers and hotel operators to ensure it obtains best value.
The site is already in the local development plan from 2015 as suitable for residential and retail use. The council says there will be an opportunity for consultation as part of the planning process.