Kettering’s biggest hotel set for green light

An artist's impression of the new hotel plan. NNL-171017-125510005
An artist's impression of the new hotel plan. NNL-171017-125510005

Plans for a 192-room hotel in Kettering’s leisure village are set to be approved tonight (Tuesday).

Phoenix Leisure Management Limited originally wanted to build a 194-room, five-storey, hotel next to the conference centre in Thurston Drive.

But the application was refused in July by planners, who said it was more akin to a city centre hotel and would be harmful to the appearance of the area.

A second plan was put in for what would be a ‘modern budget hotel’ with 192 rooms, creating 35 full-time jobs.

The hotel’s height was also reduced to three-and-a-half storeys – and the plans are recommended for approval by Kettering Council’s planners.

The application also includes £52,000 worth of highways mitigation measures, including a bus stop outside the hotel.

But the bid 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.

But despite the objections, the plans look set to be approved.

A report set to be discussed by councillors said: “The proposal would have some identified visual harm, most notably to the character and appearance of the green and open nature of the site and the way it is experienced in its immediate setting.

“This harm, however, is little more than ‘absolute’ harm through the development of the site itself.

“Given that the site is not subject to open or green space designation its occasional recreational use is not of sufficient significance to be afforded anything other than limited weight, especially given the proximity of other more useable recreational spaces in the vicinity.”

The intention of the operator is to target residential conferences and also the leisure, corporate and wedding markets.