'Inadequate' parking spaces in hotel conversion plan

Town councillors are “strongly in favour” of preserving a historic former hotel by converting it into flats, but say the number of proposed parking spaces is “totally inadequate”.

The Royal Victoria Hotel in Newport
The Royal Victoria Hotel in Newport

The grade II listed Royal Victoria Hotel, in Newport, closed to guests in 2015.

Town Centre Properties UK Ltd has applied to convert and extend it to provide 17 apartments.

A statement submitted on behalf of the locally-based company says the project would include seven parking spaces – a number “considered to be suitable in view of the town centre location and the availability of on-street parking and other sustainable modes of transport”.

Telford and Wrekin Council will decide on the application at a later date, but, when consulted, Newport Town Council supported bringing the St Marys Street venue back into use but requested clarification about the parking arrangement.

Planning agent Stuart Thomas, of Shrewsbury-based consultants Berrys, writes that, “due to a deterioration in both turnover and profitability, the property has not operated as a hotel since 2014, aside from a short period in the summer of 2015”.

Permission to convert it into 12 flats was granted in 2018 but since then, he adds, “a further review of the proposed development has taken place which found that, to be viable, it is essential additional units are provided”.

Mr Thomas writes: “As a consequence, a sensitive scheme for the extension of the building has been conceived that will provide an additional five apartments.

“This scheme will ensure that the development is deliverable whilst respecting the special architectural and historic qualities of the Royal Victoria Hotel’s Georgian facade and the character and appearance of the area within which it is sited.”

Mr Thomas adds that the expansion of the proposal, from 12 to 17 flats, is backed up by a viability appraisal which has been independently assessed by Telford and Wrekin Council.

“The principal facade and lobby are to be retained and restored as part of the scheme in both its original and revised form,” he adds.

“In respect of parking, there are a total of seven spaces provided which is considered to be suitable in view of the town centre location of the site and the availability of on-street parking and other sustainable modes of transport.”

The earlier 12-flat proposal included 14 parking spaces, application documents from the time say.

Newport Town Council discussed the proposal at its September meeting.

Draft minutes say: “Newport Town Council members are strongly in favour of bringing the former Royal Victoria Hotel building back into use.

“However, all members agreed clarification is required as to the proposed parking arrangement.

“Seven parking spaces for 17 apartments is totally inadequate.”

The town council’s consultation comment, submitted to Telford & Wrekin Council, adds that “it is also essential that any scheme carried out on the site re-instates the pre-existing walkway between Water Lane and St Marys Street”.

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