Public gives mixed views on draft plans

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Draft plans for a new hotel have received a mixed response from members of the public.

Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants launched its plans for the proposed Premier Inn in front of Arc Leisure, in Bakewell Road, Matlock, at a consultation meeting last week.

The £4million hotel would have 58 bedrooms spread over three floors, as well as a restaurant.

Nick Johnston, acquisitions manager for the firm, said: “We have gone for a similar material finish as the Arc, so the ground floor has got the stone finish and we have got cladding and we feel it’s in keeping with the local character and the Arc.

“The finished product really would transform what has been a derelict site for a number of years.”

The 52–cover restaurant would be open to the public as well as hotel guests and the car park has room for 50 cars. Nick added that the company was in talks with Arc Leisure about the prospect of using its car park as an overflow.

Nick said: “It will be bringing money in to the local economy because generally speaking a third of guests will eat on site and the rest will drink and eat in the local establishments.”

The hotel will employ around 25 people and Whitbread has a policy that usually around 50 per cent of its workforce are not in employment, education or training, NEETS.

Speaking at the consultation, Matlock resident and member of the Matlock Civic Association Martin Burfoot said: “It’s certainly something that the town needs and for a long time we have wanted a budget hotel to attract visitors. I think most of us would have preferred it to be closer to the town centre.

“Parking should be adequate. The look is probably what I would expect for a Premier Inn budget hotel and it’s in front of the Arc which is really prominent in the locality.”

Mother–of–two, Beth O’Donovan, who lives on the Morledge estate, Matlock, raised safety concerns over the increased number of cars using the junction leading up to her estate and the leisure centre.

“It’s already a nightmare at the junction,” she said. “It’s a family estate and there’s lots of children.”

“It’s not really going to strengthen the local economy,” Beth added.

Andrea Clough, who also lives on the Morledge estate, said: “I’m not happy with the design of it. I just think it should be within keeping with the area.

“It just looks cheap and nasty to me.”

The public are invited to give feedback on the proposals by May 14 and the company hops to submit final plans to Derbyshire Dales District Council within six to eight weeks from that date.