Weston MP calls for end to hotel plan 'red tape'

PUBLISHED: 13:01 25 September 2012

MP John Penrose

MP John Penrose

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WESTON MP John Penrose has called for planning permission 'red tape' to be relaxed to allow hotels to change to residential properties more easily.

Mr Penrose said it is often difficult for hotel businesses to get planning permission to switch to apartments, which is preventing them from securing investment.

He added that hotels like the Dorville have been waiting for investment for ‘ages’ and a change in the rules could give them a boost.

He told Parliament he wanted to see the need for planning permission to be relaxed when hotels are looking to turn into apartments.

Mr Penrose said: “Obviously I’d defer to local councillors’ views about specific hotel sites in Weston. “But, for example, places like the old Dorville Hotel have been waiting for fresh investment for ages.

“If this is the key to unlocking them and getting things moving, it’s got to be worth considering.”

His comments come after the Mercury reported earlier this month that the Dorville Hotel in Madeira Road, the Lynton House Hotel in the same road and the Bayside Hotel in Manilla Crescent are all looking to change to apartments.

The Dorville will apply for planning permission next month while the Lynton and Bayside’s plans have already been approved.

Mr Penrose said: “Having worked as tourism minister, I know planning red tape is holding the UK’s wonderful, dynamic hotel sector back.

“This is a small change that could have a big impact.

“Many people in the hospitality sector would relish the extra flexibility and freedom it would bring.

“It would free up investment and clear the way for faster and more vigorous regeneration of high-quality, good-value hotel stock.

“It would be one of the quickest ways we could free up our hotel sector to compete better.”

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