An architect's impression of the proposed hotel. Picture from Brookes Architects SUS-210812-163734001

Hastings Premier Inn plans: Does town need a new hotel? Residents react

Developers have put forward plans to build a hotel in Hastings.

Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 4:46 pm

Whitbread plc has submitted the proposals to build an 84-room Premier Inn hotel with ground-floor restaurant and car parking in Cornwallis Street car park in the town centre.

However, the application, which has been submitted to Hastings Borough Council planners, has attracted opposition from objectors, as well as a petition.

Kira Brabenec, who chairs St Andrews Residents Association, said: “The site has been identified as a within a flood risk area. Underneath there is flowing water and there appears to have no mitigation built in to reduce risk.

“The proposed building is overbearing and not in keeping. This is a corporate block that will have no relationship to other local architecture, being neither in keeping or architecturally significant.

“There will be significant reduction in natural light and potentially reduce warmth in buildings due to being overshadowed.

“The impact on traffic through increased car numbers being attracted to the area. This potentially will take up residents’ parking which is already oversubscribed.”

Dr Andrew Grantham said: “While I recognise the economic case for this hotel, it comes at a high price environmentally.

“First, the hotel will not be self-sufficient in energy. The solar panels and the air heat pumps seem to be marginal to the design. So much so that I question the heat pumps. Why are they air heat pumps and not ground heat pumps? It would seem to me that any new build should incorporate the most efficient technology, of which ground-based thermal heat pumps qualify.

“Second, the building has significant embedded carbon. There is much talk about the aesthetics, but little about the building materials and their carbon content. If the building is concrete and steel-based, the carbon emitted in production is significant, needs to be accounted for and offsett. Alternatively, the building needs to be rethought and decarbonised.”

Ben Ellis said: “There are multiple empty buildings in the town centre, including what were Debenhams and Peacocks so the existing infrastructure is there without the need for a brand new building to be built, which is a huge waste of resources.

“There are multiple hotels on the seafront already owned by small businesses. Building another big chain hotel will have a negative impact on these local businesses, many of which I imagine have been struggling due to Covid.”

Susan Burkinshaw said: “There is already a serious lack of residents parking in the area so the Cornwallis Street car park is the overflow area for parking free overnight. Parents with children, elderly and disabled people and people who are frightened by the ugly multi-story car park feel safe to use the current Cornwallis car park.

“The site is too small to meet the needs of such a large hotel and therefore will certainly lead to congestion in the area. Central Hastings needs many more trees and open spaces and light areas, not more oppressive concrete corporate structures.”

In a design and access statement by Brookes Architects, on behalf of the developers, it said: “Cornwallis Street in Hastings has a distinctive character but this is degraded by the unimpressive surface level car park on the application site.

“It sits at a principal intersection of three roads and is highly visible from the public realm. It is well-located for local facilities but its current use does not contain any elements of architectural merit.

“The proposed scheme will do much to address this, while still providing a substantial amount of parking on the site.

“The proposed hotel will provide new accommodation in an aesthetically pleasing and logical design form which will improve the site as a whole, while being in keeping with the local character.

“The new building will be naturally lit as far as possible. It has been carefully designed to ensure that it will not have any impact on neighbouring properties in terms of overlooking and overshadowing.

“In conclusion, the proposal will deliver a new hotel for both tourists and the local community which will not only meet modern building standards but will also be in keeping with its context, both of which will far outweigh the current unimpressive state of the site.”

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