Premier Inn to reveal its build plans

Developers of Berwick's new Premier Inn have organised a public drop-in event to discuss the construction plans.

Thursday, 7th June 2018, 15:22 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th June 2018, 12:26 pm
Plans for a new Premier Inn to be built in Sandgate on the former Playhouse site

Work on the 60-bedroom hotel on Sandgate is due to start next month and final details of the build programme have now been pieced together.

Premier Inn is keen to avoid the controversy of its original construction plan when residents raised concerns about the impact on the Bridge Street car park and Drivers Lane.

Richard Aldread, head of construction (UK & Ireland) for parent company Whitbread, said: “Sanderson Ltd, our selected building contractor, is getting ready to start clearing our development site on Sandgate.

“Before the team starts work, we have organised a drop-in event to explain the process for building our 60-bedroom Premier Inn hotel and to be available to answer any questions.

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“I am hoping the event will be of interest to our neighbours and stakeholders, though anyone with an interest in our plans is most welcome.”

It is over three years since Whitbread announced plans to redevelop the former playhouse site, with planning permission granted in August 2016. Over the intervening period there have been detailed discussions about how to best approach the building works.

Bridge Street car park will remain open for vehicles during the build, though a few spaces will be lost during the construction work after a temporary amendment to the entrance.

The drop-in is in the upstairs meeting rooms of the YHA on Dewar’s Lane on Wednesday, from 1pm to 3.30pm. Information will be available at www.premierinnberwick.co.uk

The plans for a four-and-a-half-storey building with a restaurant and reception but no dedicated parking were first announced in December 2014.

Public consultation events were held in June 2016 before the plans were submitted.

Premier Inn says the £5million development could create up to 25 new year-round jobs and would support the local economy by attracting additional year-round visitors to the town.

When planning permission was granted, it estimated the proposed development could provide accommodation for 21,500 overnight stays in Berwick each year, with potential to attract substantial visitor spending of approximately £940,000 per annum.

The former playhouse closed in 2005 and the building was demolished in 2010.

At that time planning permission was granted for 20 apartments but the financial crisis meant the development never began. Large weeds were subsequently left to grow inside the perimeter fencing leading to numerous complaints.