‘Peace of mind at a reasonable price’
A NEW 23-storey hotel is being proposed for a prime location near the station on Piccadilly.
Japanese chain Tokoyo Inn is planning to build its first UK branch on an empty plot of land opposite the B Lounge pub, while also converting the listed former Union Bank building next door.
The proposal, for land at the corner of Gore Street and in front of the Waldorf pub, would fill in a site that has stood empty since around 1980. It would also bring the bank building, which dates back to 1911 and has been empty more than a decade, back into use.
Between them the sites would become a 326-room hotel promising to offer ‘peace of mind at a reasonable price’. Three extra street trees would be added to the pavement outside, as well as 36 cycle spaces.
The hotel’s entrance would be on Gore Street, with its breakfast area inside the banking hall of the listed section. Tokoyo focuses on sites near to railway stations, according to the planning report going before councillors next week, with existing branches across the world in countries including Japan, Cambodia, South Korea, the Philippines, France and Germany. Rather than being an ‘extravagant’ stay, it promises to ‘offer the necessary facilities and services and a safe, clean comfortable environment’,” according to its submission.
It also plans to ‘deliver a high quality building on what is currently ‘gap site’ and bring a Grade II Listed Building back into active use’.
Eleven objections have been received from neighbours, however, largely focusing on the effects of the hotel’s height, but with other concerns also raised about the effect on traffic and parking. Nevertheless Historic England says it is satisfied with the plans for the listed element after Tokoyo Inn revised its original plans for the interior, while the council’s highways department has raised no concerns. The site has previously had permission for a hotel in both 2007 and 2013, first for an office development and later for a hotel, but the approval has since expired.
Planning officers are recommending the latest application for approval next Thursday.
An artist’s impression of the Tokoyo Inn