Council leader backs hotel plans - as long as they do not attract ‘undesirables’

PUBLISHED: 15:00 05 May 2013

The plans for Stonehill House

The plans for Stonehill House


BUSINESS leaders and politicians have backed plans to build a 74-bed hotel in the middle of Welwyn Garden City.

The Welwyn Hatfield Times revealed the £3.5m proposal for the top levels of Stonehills House last week, with praise now being heaped on the plans.

Peter Brooks, chairman of the Welwyn Hatfield chamber of commerce, said: “There is a surfeit of office space and converting it into hotel space in the middle of the town centre, which isn’t particularly well provided for [is a good idea].

“Hotel accommodation would be a great asset and it will create jobs.”

The application has been lodged by The Tonstate Group, which has yet to find an operator for the three-star hotel.

Retail businesses will remain on the bottom floor.

Leader of Welwyn Hatfield Council John Dean, Conservative, has also backed the plans – as long as it does not bring “undesirables” to the town.

Cllr Dean said: “I have no problems with a hotel being there if that is what it is going to be.

“If they haven’t got parking then it could be a problem.

“Providing it is a hotel and not just single rooms [I don’t see a problem], if it is just rooming places for people then it could be a problem because you could get undesirables there.

“Providing it is a reasonable hotel I can’t see any problem.”

His feelings were echoed by Lib Dem leader Tony Skottowe.

The WGC councillor said: “It sounds quite interesting, we could really do with a decent hotel much nearer to the town centre than we have at the moment.

“Parking [could be a problem] because certainly some people will want to come by car, so parking is a potential issue so we will obviously have to think on that.”

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