Mixed reaction to budget hotel plan

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A BUDGET hotel chain is bidding to take over a prime location in the middle of St Annes Square.

Travelodge want to open a 61-bed hotel on Clifton Drive South, above the town’s popular Marks & Spencer store.

The company state the development would “support the local economy” – but hotel and trade associations have given a mixed reaction to the news.

Paul Rollings, president of the Holiday Association of Lytham St Annes, said: “Trade is hard enough as it is without getting a cheap provider in.

“It’s a bad thing for local B&Bs that are struggling as it is. Times are hard – why should these people be allowed to come in and take business away from small B&Bs that have been there for years?

“I think it downgrades St Annes to have a Travelodge in the town centre – on the outskirts fair enough. It will be detrimental to most hotels and it’s the last thing we need.”

Plans submitted to Fylde Council show that the national chain want to add an extra floor to the building and convert the existing office space.

The Travelodge won’t have a restaurant or bar – something they state will “ensure guests use existing local facilities.”

The hotel’s entrance would be on Wood Street, complete with a car park allocated for guests.

But Mr Rollings said the location of the Travelodge would be a “disaster road-wise”, while John Moxham, chairman of St Annes Chamber of Trade, also raised concerns about car parking at the site.

“St Annes has always done very well with national brands and I would welcome a national brand hotel – but there are reservations,” Mr Moxham said.

“The Chamber of Trade would not have a problem with a Travelodge coming to St Annes, but the parking issue will be interesting and the impact on the local infrastructure needs to be looked at.”

A spokesman for Travelodge said: “We have long desired a prime location in Lytham St Annes and were delighted when our property agents Whitestone Retail and Leisure identified this site on Clifton Drive.

“If our application is successful we will create 15 jobs for local people and be the first branded budget hotel in town.”

Residents have until February 17 to comment on the application.