Permission has been granted for the demolition of the derelict ice rink, abandoned in 2003, and the construction of a 5 storey, 56 room serviced apartment-hotel complex designed by Conran & Partners Stonehurst Estates.
The site’s developers said they were looking to appeal to a sector of the business and tourist visitor market that is looking for “short-term, partly self-contained accommodation”.
The hotel’s designers say it will create around 30 new jobs and will resemble The Light in Manchester which charges up to £550 a night for its most exclusive rooms.
The application attracted opposition from a range of local groups including the Montpelier and Clifton Hill Association, St Nicholas Church PCC, Wykeham Terrace Residents' Association and the ward councillors Lizzie Deane and Pete West and local MP Caroline Lucas.
The application was controversial because of the impact of the height of the development on the surrounding conservation area and also because it involves the loss of the city’s only [planning use class D2] ice rink. The developers mitigated the latter by referring to the plans to build a new ice arena at Black Rock [see earlier story], which will probably never happen but in planning terms the policy is still extant and hence relevant.
The planning committee at first voted against the scheme but later reversed the decision upon further legal advice about an aspect of planning law.
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