Residents concerned over plans for proposed hotel in Portland Road
Residents say they fear a proposed hotel will turn into a homeless shelter if its planning application is eventually accepted.
Plans for a hotel at the site of the old Queens Arms pub in Portland Road, Woodside, were rejected at a strategic planning committee meeting last week.
Councillors unanimously rejected the application after raising concerns about the design of the site and the lack of disabled parking, but the applicant Event Investments Limited, is expected to submit another planning application in the coming months.
The proposal is to build a three to four storey hotel, comprising of accommodation, meeting and conference rooms, lounges and a reception. There would be 58 rooms in total with 44 single rooms and 14 twin rooms.
Objectors claim the lack of catering facilities and interior layout is proof the plans are not conducive to a hotel.
John Hickman, of Albert Road, who sits on the planning committee for the Norwood Society, said the area does not need this type of development.
He said: "If these business people decide not to come to this hotel what happens then? There is a suspicion that this could be used as temporary accommodation for the homeless.
"If that was to happen then why not just come clean so we know where we stand. It is disconcerting the way this has been run."
Gavin Barwell, MP for Croydon Central, said the area needed investment, but the hotel plans needed a lot of work.
He said: "The biggest concern is this will turn into a hostel. It is being marketed as a business hotel but it is all single beds and there are no catering facilities. It seems rather strange to me."
Councillor Karen Jewitt, of Woodside Ward, also raised concerns about the plans.
“I don’t mind if there is going to be a hotel there, but the plans don’t suggest that. A real hotel have bigger rooms than these plans suggest,” she said.
“Hotels don’t have these communal lounges or kitchens. They need to change their plans.”
Charles Moran, of CMA Planning Limited, acting on behalf of the applicant, told the committee £5m would be invested in the project.
He said the scheme would act as a catalyst for the area and there should not be any fears about it becoming a hostel as one of the planning conditions was it has to be a hotel.