‘Now or never’ for new hotel proposals

A HOTEL giant has said it is the “last chance saloon” for a planned hotel and restaurant in Rotherham, after town planners recommended its plans be refused.

Premier Inn has warned that 60 new jobs will be lost if Rotherham Council’s planning board doesn’t go against the recommendations of its officers at a meeting on Thursday, October 11 and approve proposals for a new hotel at the Phoenix Riverside site in Templeborough.

Kevin Murray, senior acquisition manager for Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, which owns Premier Inn, said: “The only viable format for Premier Inn in the town is a stand-alone hotel and Brewers Fayre restaurant. This is what we are proposing at Phoenix Riverside.

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“All of the other possible sites in Rotherham are either the wrong size or location, or are financially unviable.

“We are committed to Phoenix Riverside and ready to invest and create jobs, but are left in the difficult position of having to walk away from the town should our application be unsuccessful. It is simply the only site that works for us.”

At a planning meeting back in March, Rotherham Council officers requested that Premier Inn should consider four alternative sites. However, Premier Inn says that all of these are unsuitable.

No objections have been received to Premier Inn’s plans, but town planners say the application should be rejected and two sites in Rotherham town centre should be considered instead.