Apr 4 2011 By James Cracknell
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A BID by Travelodge to convert a disused office block in Eastcote into a 76-bedroom hotel has failed spectacularly, after planning officers found dozens of holes in their application.
Prior to a planning meeting at Hillingdon Council on Thursday (April 7), a report on the plans highlighted 'dubious' fire safety measures, inadequate car parking provision and a 'substandard layout' as just three of the reasons why councillors should reject the proposal.
Travelodge don't own the Initial House site in Field End Road but said they wanted to open a hotel in the Middlesex area.
But their application has been roundly slammed by council planning officer Richard Phillips, who wrote in his report to the North Planning Committee: "This application does not meet car parking standards, and fire safety is dubious. Adequate provision for services and refuse collection have not been made. It is doubtful that the renewable energy percentage can be met.
"Hillingdon will meet the hotel room requirement by 2026 without the help of this application. The long-term viability of this project has not been proven. It was a great pity that the developer did not consult with local people upon this matter before submitting an application."
The future of the Initial House site, described by locals as an 'eyesore', has long been in doubt since it ceased use as an office building in 2008.
But developers Create and Construct Ltd, who own the site, still have another application to convert the building into a block of 42 flats awaiting decision.
They'll hope it proves more successful than the hotel bid. Mr Phillips added: "Contrary to the assertions made, access to Heathrow Airport is neither quick nor direct by public transport. There is no direct underground link, nor is there a direct bus link. Visitors arriving at Heathrow will experience difficulty in persuading a taxi driver to come to Eastcote."
A new Travelodge hotel is set to open in Harrow town centre later this year.