New Lowestoft hotel opening put back
THE opening of a �2.3m hotel has been set back after the discovery of endangered newts brought building work to a standstill.The 47-room Travelodge at Lowestoft was due to open in time for Christmas but it could still be another four months before the first bookings are taken because of unexpected delays.
THE opening of a �2.3m hotel has been set back after the discovery of endangered newts brought building work to a standstill.
The 47-room Travelodge at Lowestoft was due to open in time for Christmas but it could still be another four months before the first bookings are taken because of unexpected delays.
Work started earlier last year on the site, off Leisure Way, but great crested newts, which are protected by law, were found shortly afterwards living in a pond on the site.
They were carefully moved with help from Natural England and the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, but just as work was about to get back under way in June, more newts were found and a stop order was issued, forcing all heavy machinery off the site.
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The protected amphibians - which are the largest species in Britain and can grow up to 17cm long - were eventually moved to a nearby pond, which will not be affected by the building work, in September.
Although heavy machinery returned to the site in the autumn, the delay has meant that the hotel - one of five being built by Travelodge as part of an �18.4m expansion scheme - did not open in time for Christmas.
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The company announced in the autumn that work had been set back by about two months and although work on the site has continued throughout the winter, it is expected to be April before the hotel opens.
A spokesman for Travelodge said: 'The development is now going full steam ahead. The newts have been safely relocated. We are hopefully now looking at a probable opening date in April.'