Jobs would go if budget hotel gets the green light

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THE manager of a four-star hotel says he may have to cut 20 per cent of his staff if a budget hotel nearby is given the go-ahead.

In a letter to Havant Borough Council, Clint Marsh, the general manager of The Langstone Hotel, has expressed his fears about what will happen if Fasset, the owner of Langstone Technology Park, is given permission to build a hotel on Bosmere Field.

The four-storey budget hotel would have 81 rooms and a carvery-style restaurant.

Fasset say the hotel is vital to the technology park’s survival and growth in a competitive market and could create up to 100 new jobs.

In his letter, Mr Marsh says he foresees having to reduce the room rate and cut certain services, including the 850-member leisure centre, which means it will be downgraded to two or three stars.

He fears the restaurant will lose its two AA rosettes as they try to appeal to a wider mix of guests.

Mr Marsh said: ‘If the new hotel goes ahead, we forecast that we would lose around 20 per cent of our occupancy,

‘The knock-on effect of this would be that we would lose 20 per cent of our staff as well.

‘At current staffing levels this would be 26 employees.

‘This does not include the eight leisure centre employees. You could also argue that if we reduce the star rating and services of the hotel we would lose further staff.’

Mr Marsh, who is chairman of the Greater Portsmouth Hotel Association, accepts that under planning rules, he can not make an official objection on grounds of competition.

Claire Mayne, from Fasset, said a budget hotel is right for the area in the tough economic climate and plans have already been changed in response to feedback.

She said the company had gone to extensive lengths to find a scheme that benefits the technology park and Havant, adding: ‘The commercial and business drivers are straight forward and based on empirical data and study.

‘This includes Retail Impact Assessment and feasibility studies. Havant and the local economy will benefit from the trade and employment created by this development.

‘For the last six months we have listened to the residents and adopted an open, consultative style within the planning process.’

Fasset said it plans to respond to each of responses over the next two weeks.

If given the go-ahead the site will include 148 parking spaces.

A decision is expected in August.