Tuesday, May 24 2016

Planners advised to turn down Albion hotel bid

Dreams of an Albion hotel could be dashed, after a proposal for a hotel and cancer treatment centre next to the American Express Community Stadium was recommended for refusal by council officers.

An artist's impression of the hotel

An artist’s impression of the hotel

The plans, by Albion Sports and Leisure Limited, are set to go before Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee next Wednesday, when councillors will have the final say.

The proposals include a three-storey hotel with 150 bedrooms, restaurant, bar, reception, gymnasium, meeting room, and lounge, alongside a Stereotactic Radiotherapy Unit for NHS patients in the basement.

But a report by council officers said the development would “fail to provide a suitable standard of design and appearance” and “would relate poorly to the adjoining stadium”.

Officers also said the design is “architecturally inappropriate” and would affect the setting of Stanmer Park. However, the report did note the development is expected to create 82 jobs, and bring is around £5,8 million to the local economy.

Albion had hopes the hotel could be open by next September, and has already entered into a franchise agreement with Starwoods Hotels, to open the resort under its Aloft brand.

After the deal was made, Michael Wale, president of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, said: “This agreement illustrates the strong demand for stylish, yet affordable accommodation in mature and strategically important cities such as Brighton.”

Martin Perry, Brighton and Hove Albion executive director, said: “The Aloft brand is the perfect choice for visitor accommodation at the American Express Community Stadium, appealing to multiple business segments including conference delegates, football supporters and visitors to the two Universities adjacent to the stadium.”

Even if councillors ignore officer advice, and grant planning permission for the hotel, the site “straddles” the boundary with Lewes District Council, so the plans will also have to go before its planning committee before construction can go ahead.

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  • Christopher Hawtree

    It looks like a prison.

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