Traffic and location fears over Harlaxton Estates' £13m hotel plan, located off the A46 roundabout, Farndon
An application that would bring a £13m hotel-led development to Farndon and up to 400 jobs was given the thumbs down by a town council committee.
The proposal, by Harlaxton Estates, includes a 102-bedroom hotel, a petrol station and large office accommodation for the proposed development off the A46 roundabout.
But the proposals drew objections from members of Newark Town Council’s planning committee, who voiced concerns about traffic and its location.
Mr David Lloyd said the application had merit and was an attractive development in a landmark location but there were issues with it.
He said the district council had assessed the total spend of day visitors to the town compared to those who stayed overnight, and the study showed that overnight visitors spent eight times more than day visitors. “That’s very important to the town,” he said, also citing bookings lost at Newark Showground because of a lack of hotel beds available in the town.
However, Mr Lloyd said that if the plan was approved, it could have an impact on existing hotel developments being proposed, including the expansion of the Deincourt Hotel, possible development of the former Nottinghamshire County Council highways depot on Kelham Road and of the Robin Hood Hotel site.
Mr Lloyd also felt that the proposed new office provision within the Harlaxton Estates scheme might tempt businesses to move out of Newark town centre, leaving empty offices in the town with a consequent loss of daytime income and perhaps even evening spend.
He said the development was also contentious because it would obliterate the open break between Newark and Farndon, and that views of the castle and the parish church from that gateway to the town should be protected.
He proposed that the committee object to the proposal, which was seconded by committee chairman Mr Matthew Skinner.
Mr Skinner said: “It’s a significant investment that would bring a lot of jobs but I just felt it was in the wrong place.”
Committee member Laurence Goff was the only voice in favour of the development.
He felt the number of jobs the Harlaxton development would bring was an important consideration.
He also felt that hotel guests might use public transport to travel into the town centre.
Mr Goff said after the meeting: “The number 90 bus gives a good service on that route and if we don’t use our public transport we will lose it.”
The development would be accessed from the old A46 Fosse Way.
Holiday Inn Express is interested in the 102-bedroom hotel. As well as the hotel, the development includes plans for office space, a filling station — to be run by the Blakemore Group, operators of Spar — and two drive-throughs, one of which could be a fast-charging point for electric cars and the other a coffee shop,
More than 200 residents attended a meeting in Farndon Village Hall in a show of force against the planning application.
Those who went along to view the plans and have the development explained to them at Farndon Village Hall were overwhelmingly against the proposals.