Revised plans submitted for Keswick Premier Inn
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Revised plans submitted for Keswick Premier Inn

Significantly redesigned hotel builds on feedback from local community and stakeholders

August 10, 2020 // Franchising.com // Revised plans for the proposed 71-bedroom Premier Inn hotel on High Hill in Keswick have been submitted to the Lake District National Park Authority this week (w/c 3rd August).

The revised designs, which build on feedback from the community, local stakeholders and planning officers at the National Park, are for a lower and more architecturally sophisticated hotel building on the site of the former Ravensfield residential care home on High Hill.

Development company Premcor, which owns the site and is bringing forward the development with Premier Inn, is proposing to invest more than £6 million in the new hotel if planning permission is granted later this year.

Simon Hawkins, Director at Darlington based Premcor, said:

“Our goal at High Hill is to create an attractive new hotel building that responds to the constraints of the site, suits its context and can be operated successfully by Premier Inn. Since submission of the initial planning application in March, we have acted on further comments and feedback from the community and local stakeholders on the design of the building.

“The new proposed building is lower at the front and back, has a new roof design, fresh elevations and makes use of a greater variety of materials including sections of Lakeland stone. It’s a significantly improved design that reflects the feedback we have received, connects with its environment and will create an excellent entrance into Keswick in my view.”

Architects, The Harris Partnership have evolved the design of the proposed hotel following the initial submission. The updated plans include:

  • Lowering the roof ridge height of the front and rear elevation;
  • Reducing the scale of the building to three storeys’ throughout;
  • Significantly re-designing the roof details to lower the height building;
  • Revising the elevations to reduce the overall scale and ‘mass’ of the building;
  • Introducing a greater mix of materials including sections of Lakeland stone, render, slate and sections of metal seam cladding;
  • Redesigning the on-site car park to add an additional Wheelchair Accessible space and improving the turning circle for guest vehicles

The proposed new hotel building remains at the front of the site facing onto High Hill with Premier Inn’s in-house restaurant providing an active frontage onto the road. The hotel bedrooms are located above and to the rear of the new ‘T-shaped’ building with 29 on-site car parking spaces located behind the hotel building to the rear of the site.

Simon continued:

“Residents understandably want the development of the former nursing home site to play a positive role in Keswick’s future. I believe a new hotel will do so by bringing the heavily constrained site back into long-term use, cater for the growing demand for overnight accommodation in Keswick and provide year-round jobs. It’s a positive use for a site which is so close to the town centre and cannot be developed for new homes due to restrictive planning policies preventing residential development on the site due to the risk of flood.”

Premier Inn currently has five hotels in towns around the Lake District National Park (at Cockermouth, Kendal, Penrith, Ulverston and Whitehaven). Whitbread, Premier Inn’s parent company, has been searching for an appropriate site in Keswick for many years as it responds to high demand for rooms from family guests and leisure / active travellers.

The company is predicting 44,000 overnight stays per year at the Keswick Premier Inn, with guests of the hotel expected to generate close to £2 million per year of total tourism expenditure in the local economy. Approximately 30 new permanent jobs are also expected to be created at the hotel with recruitment targeted in Keswick and the wider Lake District area.

Kevin Murray, head of acquisitions at Premier Inn for the north of England and Ireland, added:

“Bringing a new Premier Inn to High Hill will provide a new type of accommodation offer in Keswick. Our style of accommodation serves a different market compared to the well-run guest houses and B&Bs in the town. We also find that our ‘light touch’ offer supports the local economy as many of our customers go out to eat, drink, visit attractions, do activities, and generally enjoy the local area when they stay with us. We have an excellent opportunity to invest in Keswick for the long-term and we believe our proposed hotel, and the job opportunities we will create, will bring many benefits for the town and wider area.”

In 2018 more than 6 million overnight visitors experienced the Lake District National Park according to data provided by Cumbria Tourism – contributing to £3bn in visitor spend and supporting more than 37,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

The Lake District National Park’s Development Control Committee is expected to decide on Premcor’s application at High Hill in Keswick this later this year.

Notes to editors

  • The Cumbria Tourism Data can be found here: https://www.cumbriatourism.org/what-we-do/research/economic-impact-of-tourism/
  • The methodology for the predicted number of stays at the Keswick Premier Inn, and the predicted tourism expenditure arising from these stays, is set out in an Economic Impact Statement submitted as part of the High Hill planning application (ref 7/2020/2039).
  • The five trading Premier Inn hotels in Cumbria re-opened on Saturday 4th July following the national lockdown.
  • If the application is approved, Whitbread is expected to recruit the new jobs at the Keswick Premier Inn through the Whitehaven branch of the Job Centre Plus and via the whitbreadcareers.com website.

About Premocor

Premcor have over 40 years combined UK property development experience at established UK development companies where they were responsible for sourcing, financing and building bespoke commercial developments.

About Premier Inn

Premier Inn was named the UK's top-rated hotel chain for 2018 according to Which? With more than 800 hotels and over 78,000 Premier Inn rooms across the UK and Ireland, Premier Inn guests are never far from a great night's sleep at fantastic value rates.

Premier Inn hotels are in more locations than any other UK hotel brand for the ease and convenience of leisure and business travellers alike.

All Premier Inn bedrooms feature en-suite bathrooms, a luxurious Hypnos® bed, a choice of pillows, TV with Freeview and free Wi-Fi. A bar and restaurant is situated either on-site or next door to each hotel, offering a wide range of food and drink including a delicious all-you-can-eat breakfast.

Across the estate, the average Trip Advisor score for Premier Inn hotels is 4.2. Premier Inn has been awarded the Best UK Family Hotel in the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards, Best UK Hotel Group in the Silver Travel Awards and the Business In The Community Environmental Leadership Award. In 2018 Premier Inn was also named the UK’s top-rated hotel chain for the fourth year in a row by Which?

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity is the National Charity partner of Premier Inn and to date team members, guests and suppliers have reached the milestone of £10 million, which formed part of the funding towards the Premier Inn Clinical Building, officially opened by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge in January 2018.

Outside of the UK Premier Inn is expanding rapidly in Germany with nineteen trading hotels and an open and committed pipeline of almost 10,000 bedrooms across 52 hotels. By the end of 2020 Whitbread expects to operate a total of 20 Premier Inn hotels across Germany.

SOURCE Premier Inn

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