At a Planning committee meeting today, the public was invited to attend to hear about planning applications, the most contentious one being Ref PA19/01978 which is for:
Full Planning Permission and Conservation Area Consent for the demolition of existing buildings (already complete with due permissions) and the development of a 70/71 ned budget hotel, including bar and cafe, with car park and access works, on the site of the former Bus and Coach Depot, Lansdown Road, Bude.
A property company owns the site and is trying to interest Travelodge in having a hotel there. My understanding is that Travelodge would require around 70 beds for the project to be viable.
Chaired by Mayor, Bob Willingham, members of the public were allowed to speak at the meeting. Their objections were broadly as follows:
- The planned building is not in keeping with Bude.
- Local accommodation businesses will lose money, which could impact the community.
- The building is too big and overshadows those around it.
- It does not fit in with the Bude & Stratton Neighbourhood Plan, and will not maintain the character of Bude.
- The building needs to fit in rather more as the Premier Inn does with The Strand.
- It is too big a structure for the site – high and imposing.
- Impact on traffic coming into Bude, especially lorries delivering.
- Cosmetic tinkering hasn’t alleviated the inappropriateness of the site for such a large building, and the roof is not in keeping, impacting the townscape.
The councillors discussed their continued objection.
The use of the site for a hotel or mixed-use purpose is acceptable to Cornwall Council, so the issue remains the size and design of the building.
As Peter La Broy stated: the developers’ interest is in the inside of the buildings (getting as many letting rooms as possible) whereas Bude’s interest is in the outside of the building and the impact on a community who will derive little benefit from it. Therefore, the objection has to be one of scale, and getting the best that one can from this application for Bude. It contravenes the Neighbourhood Plan and is not in keeping with the conservation area, so development on this scale could set a precedent for further development elsewhere in Bude.
On it goes …