A bid to build what would have been Kettering’s biggest hotel was refused last night (Tuesday).
Phoenix Leisure Management Limited wanted to build a ‘modern budget hotel’ with 192 rooms, creating 35 full-time jobs, next to the conference centre in Thurston Drive.
The plans for the hotel, which would have been three-and-a-half storeys high, were recommended for approval by council planners.
But at a planning committee meeting, councillors rejected the bid for the same reasons as an earlier refusal on the same site.
They said that the hotel would have a harmful impact to the character and appearance of the area because of its dominant nature and would overlook nearby dwellings.
They also raised concerns about an inadequate parking provision for the site when events were taking place at the conference centre.
One resident on the leisure village contacted the Northants Telegraph to say the refusal was a ‘well-accepted verdict’.
He said: “This location is unsuitable for such a development as the infrastructure is already stretched coping with the demands of the housing and current users of the leisure village facilities and the impact and harm caused to the community far outweigh any small commercial benefit from such a large imposing building.
“Let us hope good sense and understanding prevail and the developers look to a more beneficial and suitable site for this hotel if there really is a business case for a ninth large hotel in Kettering.”
The application included £52,000 worth of highways mitigation measures, including a bus stop outside the hotel.
But it was met with 34 objections from neighbours, who claimed it would be harmful to the area and that there was no need for a hotel.
They also said there was not enough parking, a loss of space for play and that there were better sites along the A14.
The operator of Kettering Park Hotel and Spa also objected, saying there was no need for it and it would impact on other town centre hotels.
Had the plan been approved, the operator’s intention was to target residential conferences and also the leisure, corporate and wedding markets.