The Villas Venture have proposed plans to demolish an office block dating back to the 1950’s to make way for a brand new four storey hotel. Holgate Villas is the commercial property in question which has been an eyesore in the City of York for a while.
The commercial property development will cost approximately £10 million and planners at the City of York Council have recommended approving the new 95 bedroom hotel. However, not everyone thinks the hotel is a good idea.
The York Hoteliers Association, which represents 12 of York’s top hotels want planners to justify the need for a new hotel. Katharina Barenthien, Chairman of The York Hoteliers Association and General Manager of The York Marriott hotel expressed, “Let’s be cautious about granting planning consents for new hotels in York until we can be sure that an all-year-round market is there.” She went on to say, “If they (the council) can manage to attract up to 30 more businesses with multiple sites in the UK like Aviva or Nestle or Smith & Nephew where people have to stay overnight, there might be room for more hotels.”
However is The York Hoteliers Association just trying to guard their businesses? John Reeves, Project Co-ordinator for the Villas Venture argued, “So what they want is protectionism? That is not a planning argument. If planning made allowances for protectionism where would it stop? You cannot prevent customers stopping at the place that offers the best in service and price. I sympathise with those who are struggling but it is not in a planner’s brief to protect them.”
So is there any room for a new hotel in the City of York? Could the old commercial property be better used as something else? Like us, you will have to wait for the council’s decision.
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