New £3.5m Welwyn Garden City hotel ‘would drive others into bankruptcy’ claim

PUBLISHED: 11:14 09 August 2013 | UPDATED: 12:57 09 August 2013

Stonehills House, WGC, where plans for a 74-bedroom budget hotel have been lodged

Stonehills House, WGC, where plans for a 74-bedroom budget hotel have been lodged

Archant

GOOD hotels could be “driven into bankruptcy” if plans for a £3.5million venue are approved in the heart of Welwyn Garden City, hoteliers have warned.

The claim comes as planners weigh up whether to approve a 74-bedroom hotel in Stonehills.

A letter circulated by bosses at Best Western’s Homestead Court Hotel – and backed by two other business owners – has rubbished claims the borough has ample spaces.

The letter, published online last week, hit out at claims by Welwyn Garden City town centre co-ordinator Mariana Bitonte, after she said there are not enough places to stay in the towns.

It said: “Since 2008 all the hotels in WGC and Hatfield have been struggling to fill their hotel bedrooms, and are struggling to financially survive.

“We on our part have only managed to fill our hotels two out of seven days a week.”

It warned the new hotel would “dilute trade even further, and drive existing good hotels into bankruptcy.”

The letter – sent to all hotel managers in the borough – has also been signed by the general managers at the Beales Hotel in Hatfield and the Mercure Hatfield Oak.

In April, plans for the £3.5million three-star hotel were lodged at Welwyn Hatfield Council.

The move would see empty office space converted into bedrooms.

Applicant the Tonstate Group said no operator had yet been secured.

The plans have been backed by the Welwyn Garden City 
Society and the leader of Welwyn Hatfield Council, Councillor John Dean.


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