Royal Hotel revamp plans revised amid criticism
PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 February 2018
Plans to expand Weston-super-Mare’s Royal Hotel have been scaled back in line with public concern.
The owners of the South Parade listed building – who hope to make the Royal Weston’s first four-star hotel – lodged a planning application in July to create a 72-room annexe adjacent to Spider Lane and the Winter Gardens.
But the three-storey extension has been cut by six rooms following concerns raised in consultations – including from Weston Town Council which aired fears over the impact of the scheme last year.
The revisions also see the annexe set further back from the seafront, a proposed restaurant reduced in size and the lowering of an underground car park located beneath its lawn.
A hotel spokesman said the owners hold ‘the future of Weston at heart’ and believe an expansion would be an ‘asset to the town’ – luring more visitors to Weston.
They added: “The regeneration of Weston has gathered momentum with new and exciting projects materialising all over the town.
“Unfortunately, development on the seafront in Weston has been limited and is a sensitive area which, unlike the majority of seaside towns, does not have the benefit of a large-capacity, high-quality hotel as a centrepiece.
“The expansion would create a venue capable of capitalising on the social and business trade which has previously gone elsewhere.
“It is the intention of the directors to try to achieve four-star rating for the expanded business.
“The expansion would provide an enhanced setting for this cherished and historically-important listed building but will also protect the financial viability of the business, thus securing the future of the hotel and assisting in positively regenerating the immediate surrounding area.”
Central ward councillor Richard Nightingale encouraged Westonians to have their say.
He said: “The regeneration of Weston has been a long time in the waiting. Our town’s recent and future development will make it no longer thought of as the poorer neighbour in North Somerset.
“This is supported by developers who are keen to invest in our town. While we can all agree some areas of Weston need urgent investment, others, such as the seafront, will always be more sensitive.
“The development of the Royal Hotel would see Weston’s first four-star hotel, along with the creation of 30 new jobs. It should also have a substantial financial benefit to our town’s economy.”