D-day looms for town hotel bid

A DECISION on whether a public inquiry for an ambitious three hotel development is needed is likely to be taken in the next two weeks, it emerged today.

A DECISION on whether a public inquiry for an ambitious three hotel development is needed is likely to be taken in the next two weeks, it emerged today.

The St Peter's Port development, between Star Lane and College Street, was rubberstamped by town planners last month but is subject to government scrutiny before the final go-ahead can be issued.

A public inquiry could even be triggered if the Secretary of State deemed it necessary to “call-in” the application.

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said a decision would be imminent and a public inquiry is unlikely.

He said: “We cannot comment on exactly what is being considered as this could be seen to pre-empt the decision although very few cases are called-in.

“Just because we have asked the council not to make a decision shouldn't be taken as pre-empting what government decides.”

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He added that there is no specific time frame for making a decision although it was likely to be made in the next couple of weeks.

The St Peter's Port development, described as “iconic” by council officers, already has a number of big names signed up.

This includes Accor, Europe's largest hotel group, which has committed to a 165-room Etap hotel, while Whitbread has agreed terms on a 117-room Premier Travel Inn.

Negotiations are also at a final stage with another hotel group to provide a New York-style boutique hotel with 58 rooms each individually designed by a world-class interior designer.

A public inquiry would hold up development of the site for months and cost tens of thousands of pounds.

Do you think a public inquiry is necessary? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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