Hotel demolition bid after appeal fails

April 22 2019
Hotel demolition bid after appeal fails

AN application has been made to demolish a landmark hotel, days after an inspector rejected a plan to redevelop it as retirement flats.

The scheme to turn the Alveston House Hotel site into a three-storey development of 34 flats for the over-55s was refused by South Gloucestershire Council last year.

Developer David Cahill appealed against the decision but planning inspector AJ Steen backed the council’s decision, concluding that the application was an “inappropriate development within the Green Belt”.

The inspector also said the plan would result in harm to a heritage asset, and added: “The proposed access and flats would harm the living conditions of neighbouring occupiers by reason of overlooking and privacy, noise and disturbance. It would not contribute affordable housing or toward public open space within the vicinity, as required by development plan policies.”

The decision to reject the plans for the building at the junction of Alveston Hill and the A38 was welcomed by councillors of all parties in the surrounding area.

Town and South Gloucestershire councillor Maggie Tyrrell described the planned development as “a very urban look on the edge of the village” and “wrong for the site”.

However, less than two weeks after the inspector announced his decision the developer lodged a new application with South Gloucestershire Council to demolish the hotel.

The reason given by Mr Cahill and his agent John Rooney, of Stokes Morgan Planning, is “to enable redevelopment”.

They add: “Following demolition, the site will be left level and clear of all waste material, in preparation for the submission of a redevelopment scheme.”

The application gives an expected date of January next year for demolition to start, with the work expected to take around two months.

The demolition plan had already received six objections from neighbours as the Voice went to press.

One, Dr Philip Judson, wrote: “It is an important landmark at the entrance to the village and should not be demolished without properly demonstrating theneed to do so.

There are no approved plans to replace the existing building and until such time as such plans are in place, the current building should remain.”

Thornbury mayor Shirley Holloway said local people had been told the hotel would keep running and Stokes Morgan Planning director Kit Stokes has reportedly said the owners were committed to running it but had made the demolition a-plication to “explore all future options”.