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Would the Council get your vote to include a Hotel in the regeneration plans?

Home / Blog / Would the Council get your vote to include a Hotel in the regeneration plans?


If you made it past the front page of today’s edition of the Sittingbourne News Extra without feeling slightly depressed and frustrated, well done.

The somewhat inevitable news of the likely scale of disruption we face when construction begins on the town centre regeneration plans was hard enough to swallow but then right out of blue there is a hotel which for some reason only known to the ever-so-clever people at U+I has been christened ‘The Tablet’.

Director of Regeneration at Swale Borough Council, Kathryn Carr confirmed as much saying

“It is true that our development partners Spirit of Sittingbourne are considering the provision of a 60 bed hotel in the town centre as part of their proposals. We understand that they are in commercial discussions with a national operator but nothing has been finalised.”

Personally I find this development cause for concern. Firstly, is it not a little late in the day to be considering such a major change to the plans, and secondly why on earth would anyone want this in place of the promised shops or restaurants and possibly at the expense of the public space.

Surely this isn’t what any of us signed up and its introduction at this late stage will only compound the already significant delays which these proposals have suffered to date which might appear entirely contrary to the expectations of a September 2016 start.

Regeneration director, Kathryn Carr explained that

“You can rest assured that should the proposals come forward the Spirit of Sittingbourne will be required to make a new planning application that will follow due process. At that stage the Council would process the application and this would include the statutory formal consultation and analysis of the impacts upon traffic and parking.”

No explanation has been forthcoming regarding the question of parking, however I doubt whether I’m alone in thinking 60-bedroom hotel is unlikely to be agreeable without some parking provision, but obviously there is no location within the immediate vicinity that could possibly accommodate this level of parking, oh wait a minute there is the new multi-storey, but they wouldn’t dream of using that now would they?

So does this latest development win any favour with you or are you simply too apathetic to care any longer, please let me know.

Andy Hudson


Showing comments 1 to 5 of 5

I am concerned with the hotel proposal, that as you have pointed out has been 'sprung' upon us out of the blue, not only the additional impact on parking - 'oh look there's a nice square there we can use as hotel parking, who needs a public square anyway?' - but also the restrictions this will place on having any decent food outlets, last I heard we would get a Wimpy underneath the cinema - not quite what I was hoping for.
Comment by Sara Seabridge on 23 May 2016
Andy, as always you make some very good points. Is this now plan B. £30 million to build to the hotel maybe?
Comment by Richard Palmer on 30 Apr 2016

This just gets dafter and dafter by the minute. How can the Forum car park accomodate a cinema, restaurants and now a hotel ! As your excellent article points out this area, the "tablet" was supposed to be a public space - not a concrete jungle !

The credibility of this whole scheme is falling daily.

Comment by Dave Wood on 27 Apr 2016
You have got to be kidding. You can't even look after the roads and you want to build car parks and hotels don't make me laugh 
Comment by Kevin porter on 27 Apr 2016

The Bell Centre was the ideal location for such a hotel without sacrificing the space around the forum car park. It would also have created some foot traffic around what is currently the dead end of the high street.

The apartments in the regen plan only allow for something like 0.6 parking spaces per apartment I wonder if a 60 bed hotel would expect to function with an equally idiotic fraction of need.

Comment by Robert Amey on 27 Apr 2016
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