Premier Inn hotel couldbe open by Christmas

10:40 31 January 2013

Premier Inn

Premier Inn


Hotel bosses say a new seafront Premier Inn could be open in time for Christmas.

And they add that most Exmouth residents who took part in a recent public consultation back plans for the 60-room hotel.

The consultation follows East Devon District Council putting the Elizabeth Hall site on the market last year.

Whitbread, the parent company of Premier Inn, was named as the preferred bidder over a bid by community group Friends of Elizabeth Hall.

Then followed a public consultation, which began with an exhibition that drew more than 300 people, and finished on January 7 with 290 responses.

Richard Pearson, acquisition manager for Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, said: “We’re working hard to bring a new Premier Inn to Exmouth – we want to do that in the right way, with the right designs, and with input from the community.

“Since the consultation, our development team has logged, analysed and considered all of the feedback received.

“It’s great to see that the majority of respondents supported the principle of a new Premier Inn hotel on Exmouth seafront.”

He said the company had received a “wide range” of comments and “it was clear” that residents wanted them to get the design right.

He said: “Taking into account the feedback we received, we are currently finalising our designs and hope to have new images of the hotel available in a few weeks’ time.” The next step, he said, was to write a ‘statement of community engagement’ as part of a planning application to EDDC.

The statement, he said, would include the feedback they had received on the design and other issues, and how Whitbread had responded.

He added: “The site is ideal for a new hotel and I am confident that our strong brand and marketing will help to attract additional visitors to Exmouth, increase spending in the local economy and support established Exmouth businesses.

“All being well we hope to submit a planning application to East Devon District Council in the spring, and if approved quickly, we could be open and trading by Christmas this year.”

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  • What really counts is the secret ballot box of an election .People sign petitions for a number of reasons. I have been surprised by the amount of support for the new hotel but I guess if a well known company offer to build a hotel in your town then some people are flattered.

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    Carlo Marx

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

  • 290 responses from a town with a population of around 35,000? That is a response rate of around 0.82% with some of them, the greater number it is claimed, supporting the plans. Even if 100% of the 290 fully supported the plans it is a dire level of support. This low level plumbs depths that are even worse than the 507 responses to the Exmouth Masterplan, itself a thoroughly discredited consultation. No doubt though, all parties, led by EDDC who will decide themselves upon the planning application by which this sale of the Elizabeth Hall site depends, will claim massive public support. The really worrying part is that the Exmouth Journal has seemingly asked no questions about these figures, sought no comment from PremierWhitebread or EDDC about the low level of interest and support, but worst of all,the Exmouth Journal fails to mention that the Friends of Elizabeth Hall had over 11,000 signatures in their petition to retain the existing hall. This standard of journalism is way below what we should expect. In the times of supposed Community Consultation how can the people of Exmouth have a voice that is listened to where it matters?

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    Thursday, January 31, 2013

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