Hotel accommodation advantageous in meeting local needs and jobs

The conversion of a building in an east London conservation area to a hotel was held as advantageous by an inspector who determined that it would meet a need for more accommodation and provide employment opportunities.

The office building lay within a central activities zone which contained one of the country’s largest concentration of deprived communities and some of the most challenging environments. The council stated that it was focused on tackling inequality and exclusion and stated that it was necessary to main a good supply of office and employment floorspace and the site lay within a primary employment location.

There was no doubt that full occupation of the building as offices would generate more jobs than a hotel but fewer would be suitable for local opportunities and would not provide training opportunities for young people the inspector held. The proposed occupier had developed a relationship with a local boy’s school with pupils being trained in catering and hotel management. It would also support the need to provide additional hotel bedrooms and would ensure the longer term future of the locally listed building within the conservation area. It was eminently suitable for hotel use and there was little likelihood that it would attract a high level of occupation as offices or operate efficiently. The lack of high quality hotels in the local area also weighed in its favour.

Inspector: Paul Jackson; Inquiry

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