South Norwood hotel 'just a front for something to come'
Controversial plans to build a hotel in South Norwood could still go ahead after an appeal from the developer to the planning inspectorate.
A planning committee rejected the plans by Event Investments to build a 58-room hotel at the old Queens Arm site, in Portland Road, earlier this year.
But in September an appeal was lodged by the developer as they believe their plans would bring the site back into active use.
Residents have reacted furiously and have set up a petition against the hotel being built, which they think will turn into a hostel.
Objectors claim the lack of catering facilities, such as a hotel restaurant, and interior layout, such as shared kitchens and lounges, is proof the plans are not conducive to a hotel.
Another concern of residents is they think a hotel is out of character with the area and not needed.
The petition has 125 signatures. Residents and MP for the area Gavin Barwell have also taken issue with the fact the original appeal hearing was only going to include written responses.
Due to the overwhelming response the planning inspectorate received they have now gone back to Croydon Council to decide if they will change it to a full hearing.
Mr Barwell said: “It is quite a controversial application so it is better that this is heard in public. I think people feel more confident they will get a fairer decision that way.
“If I thought it was going to be a genuinely high quality business hotel then I wouldn’t have any issues at all but when you look at the details of the design then there are question marks raised.”
The council rejected the original application citing concerns about how the hotel would be used, disabled access and parking.
John Hickman, of Albert Road, who is part of the Norwood Society residents’ group, said residents have already submitted written representations to the inspectorate.
Another concerned resident Richard Hough, who owns Autoclutch Garage in South Norwood, said: “This is not a good idea at all.
“In my opinion the hotel is a front for something else to come in the future. The idea that it will bring employment is a complete joke.”
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