A HUGE nine-storey hotel has been refused planning permission after Trafford Centre bosses thought it wouldn’t be of a ‘high enough standard’.
Plans for an 197-bedroom hotel with a gym, all en-suite rooms, reception, restaurant and meeting rooms on land near Barton Road in Stretford have been halted after Trafford council unanimously dismissed them.
The hotel, which would sit between Barton Road and the slip road of Junction 9 of the M60, near the roundabout at Lostock Circle, was due to employ around 40 staff within a 15 minute drive of the shopping centre.
But Trafford Centre owners Intu wrote to the council to indicate their concerns about the plans, saying that the ‘mid-range’ hotel chain (either Holiday Inn Express or similar) proposed for the site was not of a high enough standard.
In a letter to the planning committee, legal representatives said the provision of at least a four-star hotel is written into existing planning documents for the area around the Trafford Centre. They said a Holiday Inn Express would not meet this requirement, among others.
A number of councillors, including the chairman of the council’s planning committee Cllr David Acton, also wrote to the council expressing their initial concerns over the application by Create Developments, particularly its potential impact on nearby residents of the Circle Court tower block.
Residents themselves wrote to make their feelings heard over potential noise, congestion and a shared entrance to the hotel which they believed could cause real issues.
While Cllr Acton later wrote again to say some of his concerns had since been addressed, Cllr Mike Cordingley, who also sits on the committee, was not convinced.
Cllr Cordingley said: “The one remaining issue I have is the sheer height of the building. The original plan was for a seven-storey hotel. It then became nine and that made all the difference to me.
“I think it casts a shadow over a fundamentally residential area on most sides, east and west. Those extra two storey make a significant difference.
“It is actually shorter than Circle Court but I think because of its bulk and its width it actually makes a bigger impression. I think it will change the nature of that particular area having two high storey buildings next to each other in an area that is basically two storey throughout. It’s just on that one basis, I welcome the jobs, I welcome everything else, I still cannot accept nine storeys there. I think it’s too high.”