Friday, May 2, 2014
A new Premier Inn hotel has been given the green light in Honiton.
Plans for the 66-bedroom hotel were unanimously approved with conditions by East Devon District Council’s planning inspection committee last Friday following a site visit.
The hotel will be built on the site of the former Turks Head Motel – creating 25 new jobs in the town.
Residents and local councillors in attendance at the meeting raised concerns over the scale of the building and fears their properties would be overlooked by the four-storey building as well as the impact on the area, which is a ‘gateway’ into the town. The need to address existing traffic and congestion problems at the Turks Head junction were also flagged up. Yelverton Properties, who are behind the hotel project, has agreed to donate land needed for junction improvements at Turks Head on the granting of planning permission. The meeting heard that improvements to the junction were ‘still a matter of debate’ between Devon County Council, the Highways Agency, and East Devon District Council on a preferred solution. However, a final solution has yet to be determined.
District councillor Phil Twiss echoed concerns over the impact on major ‘gateway’ in and out of the town and that the Turks Head junction was already ‘over capacity’.
Cllr Mike Allen said it was not certain that there will be no increase in traffic and the Turks Head junction was a major issue.
Addressing concerns of overlooking, Cllr Alan Dent said the building was tucked away in the corner of the site and behind the garage. The meeting heard that the four-storey building would be set back from Exeter Road and the building would be stepped - the lowest level would be near the neighbouring properties. Cllr David Key added: “This is going to be financially rewarding to Honiton.”
Additional trees would be planted to provide additional screening for neighbouring properties.
The existing motel buildings will be demolished to make way for the new hotel building with ancillary restaurant/bar, associated car park and landscape works at the Turks Head Lane site.