1. ITV Report

Locals fight new Keswick Premier Inn plans

CGIs of the proposed hotel design. Credit: Premier Inn

A group of businesses is trying to stop a new 71-bedroom hotel from being built in the Lake District.

A petition against the plans for the hotel by Premier Inn has received more than 2,000 signatures online.

Those opposed to the plans say the new building, which is due to be built on the site of a former care home, won't fit in with the charm of the town.

But Premier Inn says it will bring many benefits, including 30 new jobs.

The planned site for the new hotel Credit: ITV Border

The plans, which are in the consultation phase, are due to be submitted to the Lake District National Park Planning Authority, Keswick Town Council and Cumbria County Council on the 24th of October.

But people who oppose the plans state the following concerns on their petition website:

  • Changing the heritage of Keswick - a town built on tourism over centuries by hard-working, independent business owners including shops, B&Bs, hotels, hospitality suppliers and other professionals.
  • Pushing the town's infrastructure to the limits - causing unnecessary congestion through the town, putting strains on the access road and the town's utilities in particular the sewage system.
  • Lack of car parking spaces - constructing a new building with not enough on-site parking spaces to cover the requirements of hotel and restaurant guests and staff.
  • Over-development of the site - a construction, which towers above neighbouring buildings and blocking the view of Skiddaw from the famous Cumbrian Way/Howrah's footpath.
  • Using "30 more jobs" - as an incentive to obtain planning permission, when Keswick has no unemployment and has a problem filling existing jobs.
CGIs of the proposed hotel design. Credit: Premier Inn

There was similar debates in 2014 when plans were put forward for a Premier Inn in Penrith.

In a statement, Premier Inn said:

"Bringing a new Premier Inn to Keswick will provide a different style of accommodation to what is currently available, increase choice for visitors and complement the many excellent independent guest houses, B&Bs and holiday lets in the town. As a business we recruit locally, offer industry leading training programmes to our team members, and find our ‘light touch’ style of accommodation supports established businesses as our customers go out to eat, drink, visit attractions, do activities and generally enjoy the local area.”

– Kevin Murray, Head of Acquisitions at Premier Inn for the north of England and Ireland