March 8 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Developers are to be given a second chance over proposals for a new hotel – after being told it needs to be a prestigious “bold and positive gateway” project for one of the county’s top business parks.
Councillors said they were unhappy over the aim of creating a budget-style hotel, where guests could not even get breakfast, and wanted upmarket accommodation with restaurant, conference and possibly leisure facilities, in a “statement building”.
The new hotel will be built on a two-acre site next to a roundabout and the entrance to Adastral Park, alongside the A12 at Martlesham.
Proposals involve an 80-bed four-storey hotel, but councillors deferred the scheme – saying they would be prepared to see a 120-bed building with associated facilities, and authorised officers to hold talks with the developers Max Industrial LP to discuss quality and type of hotel, size, scale and design.
Suffolk Coastal’s south area development management sub committee also had before it proposals for a hotel with pub/restaurant and a “drive thru” restaurant for the site, but said more of the land could be used for the hotel if it could contain all the facilities needed for those staying.
Head of planning Philip Ridley said the aim for the site was a “bold and positive gateway” hotel to benefit the needs of the wider economy both for business and pleasure trips.
Gareth Evans, for the developers, said the current proposal would not feature a restaurant and was most likely to attract Travelodge as an operator. A hotel of 120 rooms would be needed to make in-house eating viable.
Councillor Josh Sayles said: “We are being told this should be a flagship building but what we have before us is not lavish but perfunctory – I cannot square those two things. I think we could do better.”
Councillor Kimberley Williams said: I don’t want this to be a missed opportunity – this building should make a statement, have adequate provision of bedrooms, catering on site and maybe even leisure.”
Councillor Tony Fryatt said: “It seems we are considering a choice between a bog standard unattractive hotel or proper facilities for people to come here.”
Martlesham district councillor John Kelso said the parish council was in favour of a hotel but it should be a maximum of three storeys to minimise impact on those living opposite the site across the A12.