NORWOOD SOCIETY OPPOSE QUEENS HOTEL PLANS – QUESTION BUILDING’S FUTURE USE
The Norwood Society have voiced their opposition to major development plans at the historic Queens hotel on Church Road saying there is no mention of restaurants, meeting rooms, conference and banqueting facilities – and questioning whether another long-term use is planned for the building.
In a letter of objection to Croydon council the amenity group say: “We appreciate there is no requirement for the applicants to submit any commercial appraisal or business model which would serve to demonstrate the economic viability of a 529 room hotel in Upper Norwood.
“Nevertheless, we are concerned about the feasibility of such a large hotel in this suburban area, and the consequential effects should it prove a commercial failure. “We wonder in fact whether the applicants may have different intentions for the long term use of this building.
“This possibility is enhanced by the curious fact that there seem to be no plans to provide some of the amenities which are normally found in a hotel of this size (and indeed in many much smaller hotels), such as restaurants, meeting rooms, conference and banqueting facilities.
“The massive rear extension would have a seriously detrimental effect on the amenities of the residents in Fitzroy Gardens and Wakefield Gardens, in particular their enjoyment of their communally owned garden which would be totally dominated and overlooked by the new extension.”
In other points the Society say:
UNDERGROUND BEDROOMS WITH NO WINDOWS: The siting of hotel bedrooms underground with no windows and no natural light, except from light wells, is completely unacceptable.
HISTORIC BUILDINGS IGNORED: The Queen’s Hotel is situated in an area rich in historic buildings. Nos. 124, 126 and 128 Church Road are all statutorily listed Grade II. Nos. 112 (Rosetta Court), 114 and 116 are locally listed, as are nos. 191, 197, 201 and 203 on the opposite side of the road.
The present proposals simply ignore the nearby historic buildings in favour of enlarging the existing building to the maximum possible size.
COACH PARKING: The parking arrangements, particularly in the case of coaches, are wholly inadequate. According to the London Plan hotels should provide one coach parking space for every 50 bedrooms. This would mean a total of eleven for a hotel with between 500 and 550 rooms.
The applicants are proposing to provide only three. They suggest instead that coaches can park overnight in Lower Sydenham (one and a half miles away), Clapham (three miles away) or Mitcham (six miles away). “This suggestion is absurd” say the Society.
COACH ACCESS: Coaches arriving or exiting in a north-south direction will either have to manoeuvre across the traffic flow to enter or leave the site, or stop on the wrong side of Church Road, forcing passengers and their luggage to cross the busy road.
CAR PARKING: Guests who arrive by private car will be charged for parking on the premises, which will encourage them to seek parking in nearby streets instead.
“We would urge that this application be refused. “However, should it be minded to grant it, we request that it be referred to committee for decision.”