Tesco’s Welwyn Garden City hotel plans slammed by rival

PUBLISHED: 12:22 12 June 2017 | UPDATED: 12:22 12 June 2017

Tesco's office at Shire Park, Welwyn Garden City

Tesco's office at Shire Park, Welwyn Garden City

Archant

A Welwyn Garden City hotel has launched a stinging attack at a supermarket’s proposal to develop a 123-bedroom hotel in the town.

Tesco has recently applied for planning permission to build a facility between Kestrel Way and Bessemer Road – immediately north of its Shire Park base – which it claims would create 25 jobs.

However, Homestead Court Hotel has officially submitted a damning objection to the plans, claiming another hotel would saturate the quality of others in the area.

It claimed that it was particularly unnecessary after planning approval was recently granted for a Travelodge in WGC.

Homestead wrote: “Building a further 123-bedroom hotel will mean accommodation supply increasing by 100 per cent if given [the] go-ahead. The current hotel market does not merit doubling supply.

“The full service hotels in the area are providing an excellent service to the locals [and] this high-grade service will diminish if these hotels have less funds to provide the excellent service.”

Tesco proposes to develop a four-storey building with nearly 4,000 square metres of floor space, 126 car parking spaces and 20 cycle spaces.

A spokesman previously told the Welwyn Hatfield Times it would be used for staff visiting from other parts of the group, but would also be open to the public.

However, Homestead claimed Tesco is missing a “golden opportunity” to instead build much-needed housing to support local people.

It added: “Hotels in general are about to suffer two years of difficult times due to the uncertainty of Brexit.

“After two years it will get worse, as when the UK is out of Europe there will be less interactive traffic from the EU area, our largest supply of customers.”

A Tesco spokesman said: “We believe a new hotel on Shire Park in Welwyn Garden City will be a real asset to the local community and economy.

“Before submitting an application we have conducted research amongst our colleagues and other businesses that has shown clear demand for additional hotel rooms in the area.”

Welwyn Hatfield Chamber of Commerce chairman Nick Brown said it would support the application so long as adequate parking was provided.

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