Huge three-star hotel plans in heart of Welwyn Garden City

The plans for Stonehill House

The plans for Stonehill House - Credit: Archant

A THREE-STAR 74 bed hotel could be built in the heart of Welwyn Garden City after plans were unveiled.

It is unknown which company will operate the hotel, as applicant The Tonstate Group has yet to secure an operator, but is aiming for a mid-market firm.

Peter Sullivan, contracted head of construction at the company, estimated the conversion would cost £3.5m, but would not proceed unless an operator could be secured.

He told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “We don’t have an operator yet.

“We haven’t secured terms with anyone, we were very close to securing terms and the market changed somewhat.

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“Some people got cold feet and we decided we were going to proceed and invest the time to secure the site and then take it to the market to secure an operator.”

Tonstate’s hotel portfolio includes the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, the Glasgow Airport Ramada and Renarto cafes.

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Welwyn Garden City’s town centre co-ordinator, Mariana Bitonte, welcomed the planning application.

She said: “I definitely welcome it, there are not enough places to stay in WGC and if it will promote tourism then [the hotel] is welcome.”

The planning application states: “This application for a 74 bedroom hotel and extension, provides an opportunity to revitalise the top two vacant floors of an office building in Welwyn Garden City (with existing retail on ground floor).

“It will benefit from ‘24 hour’ usage and will provide accommodation that activates a partially redundant building.

“We believe this development opportunity will not only benefit the vacant floors of the building, but also the immediate surrounding area and Welwyn Garden City as a whole too.”

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