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South Norwood hotel turned down by Croydon Council

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A BID to build a 58-bedroom hotel for businesspeople visiting South Norwood has been thrown out by councillors.

The application by Event Investments to transform the former Queen's Arms pub in Portland Road was turned down by the council's strategic planning committee last Thursday.

Fears the low-price hotel would be a "dosshouse" emerged last year when the proposals were submitted.

But Charles Moran, the agent for the planning application, denied this, saying the Biznest hotel would be aimed at businesspeople on short-term contracts.

Committee chairman David Osland said the application was rejected on grounds of design and parking.

Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell spoke at the meeting to object to the proposal. He said: "In its current form, the application was unacceptable.

"The size of the development, the fact public space would have disappeared and the lack of disabled parking was cause for concern.

"Mainly, though, there was real suspicion from local residents that it would have been a hostel rather than a hotel.

"If you look, nearly all the rooms are single and there is no catering provided."

Objectors were also worried the plans would bring the hotel too close to the pavement line, with the Queen's Arms currently set well back from the road.

Mr Barwell did, however, offer hope to the potential developers, adding: "It is obvious that Portland Road needs investment and after meeting the developers, they assured me it was all a misunderstanding.

"Hopefully, they make the necessary amendments to their application, but, as I say, in its current form, I would raise the same objections again."

But Mr Moran would not be drawn on his future plans at this time.

He said: "At the moment we're reviewing our options and I'm not in a position to say anything yet. We will make a decision soon."


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