THE city centre is set to see another high-rise building added to its skyline.
Proposals for a 12-storey Travelodge hotel next to the 1,000-flat student housing building Catherine House in Stanhope Road have been recommended for councillors’ approval.
The height, massing and scale of the proposal in a prominent gateway position into the city centre would give it a major presence and the building is considered well-enough designed to make a townscape contribution to Stanhope RoadPortsmouth City Council planning officer
The plans for the 152-bedroom hotel were set to be heard by councillors last month.
But it was pulled from being discussed at the planning committee after officers voiced concerns.
They were based around the idea of basement parking at the site and the impact it would have on neighbouring Victoria Park and its conservation area, with trees needing to be removed from the site to accommodate the development.
Following this, the plans were amended to allow trees to be retained on the site and council officers have recommended approval for the development pending the allocation of Section 106 funds.
That is money that developers must pay to the city to help improve infrastructure when looking to build new developments.
A council officer wrote in a report: ‘The height, massing and scale of the proposal in a prominent gateway position into the city centre would give it a major presence and the building is considered well-enough designed to make a townscape contribution to Stanhope Road.’
Originally, 51 car parking spaces were proposed over two levels, at basement and ground floors but this has now been amended to 26 parking spots at all ground level.
Travelodge is expecting to facilitate 72,000 customers a year, should the hotel be approved, estimating a £728,000 boost to the city per year in terms of customer spending.
The hotel plan to employ 32 people at the building and will take a 25-year lease on the proposed hotel.
The Portsmouth Society objected to the plans stating the building’s design would be ‘depressing’ for its guests.
Terry Halloran said: ‘The two long sides of the hotel are unfortunately prison-like in their lack of fenestration. The ratio of wall to window is significantly over-stated, this results in facades which are disappointing from the outside and depressing for the occupants inside.’
Lawrence Gould, of St Andrew’s Road, Southsea wrote to the council in support of the application stating: it will be ‘welcomed’ by parents visiting students in the city.
The application will be heard by the council’s planning committee on Wednesday at 1pm.