Liberal Democrats in Bishops Ward have objected to the hotel development being proposed for Lower Marsh. The hotel is being proposed on the site which had previously been granted permission for new homes. Our area has been overrun with new hotels in recent years. Our view is that Waterloo needs more homes. Not hotels.
Objection to the application to build a new hotel on Lower Marsh
The objection sent to Lambeth Council read as follows: I am sending in this response on behalf of the Bishops Ward Liberal Democrats The site was previously given planning permission for a residential led scheme which was never taken forward.
It is now returning as a more substantial hotel scheme. The area has absolutely no requirement for new hotels.
The London plan set a target for an net increase in hotel bedrooms in Lambeth of 2,500 between 2007 and 2026. In 2013 Lambeth produced a survey of hotels and other visitor accommodation in the borough. The study is available here: http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/sites/default/files/HotelsandOtherVisitorAccommodationinLambeth2013.pdf
It found that by 2013 the borough had provided an additional 1934 rooms above its 2006 baseline and had an additional 1,666 in the development pipeline of which 667 had started construction.
This means that by 2013 the borough already had comfortably exceeded the target it was expected to achieve by 2026 in terms of completed bedrooms and consented development.
The greatest concentration of hotels and bed spaces is in the Waterloo area.
In addition the council has granted planning consent to additional hotel development since its 2013 study. This includes the Park Plaza Hotel on Hercules Road which is currently under construction and will provide around 400 spaces.
The council has also granted consent to the expansion of the Park Plaza hotel on the Albert Embankment. The Tune expansion is also not included in the study.
In addition to all of this there has been an increase in people letting out their homes as visitor accommodation though services such as AirB&B.
All of this is clear evidence is that there is ample provision of visitor accommodation in the borough and in particular this ward.
Having such a concentration of hotels in such a small area is not only unnecessary, it also places a considerable burden on local residents.
Hotel visitors are by their nature transient and do not demand the same services as local residents.
When an area gets too high a concentration of hotels it can mean that local services (for example grocery shops) are crowded out by cafes and restaurants, which cater more to visitors.
This is a particular concern given the location of this proposal, Lower Marsh, which serves as the area's high street.
The area needs more homes, not hotels.
We urge Lambeth to reject this application.