Green light for �3m hotel plan

PROPOSALS for a �3million 82-bed hotel on the A12 have been given the green light.

The plans for land between Station Garage and Railway Cottage on Main Road, Darsham, were given the thumbs up subject to a number of conditions.

Last night, the developers behind the plans said they were hoping the hotel would be used by a national chain such as Travelodge or Premier Inn.

Suffolk Coastal District Council's North Area Development Sub Control Committee backed the scheme.

However approval was subject to a number of conditions, including the highways authority having no objections and the materials used for the building being acceptable in terms of their impact upon the character of the countryside.

Richie Wistow, director of RNR London Limited, which is behind the plans, said work could now start in the early part of next year.

He said the hotel would not only help promote tourism in the area but could also be used by workers at the nearby Sizewell power station.

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'The main aim now is funding,' he said. 'We are in discussions with various parties.

'I would think it would be something like a Travelodge or Premier Inn. That's the type of idea we're looking at, to link in with a hotel chain.

'The issues with the transport report have now been approved and we are looking forward to starting work.

'We have tried to keep the hotel very traditional to complement the surroundings. We don't want it to stick out like a sore thumb.'

The hotel is likely to employ between 10 and 15 people and will feature a three-storey building linked into a two-storey structure that includes bedrooms and a caf�/dining area.

Darsham Parish Council had strongly objected to the plans because it thought it was too large and would have a detrimental environmental impact.

Councillors also felt sensible access and exit arrangement had not been produced.

There was also an objection from the owner of nearby Railway Cottage who, among other concerns, felt the hotel would lead to increased noise and was far too big.

An application for a 78-bed hotel was previously refused on the site because the design was poor.

However planners felt that this time around – although the scheme was more substantial – it was acceptable.

They acknowledged it was a finely balanced proposal and advised committee members to weigh up the economic benefit with the impact upon the character of the countryside.