Hotel ruled out due to noise and traffic

A 376-bedroom hotel proposed close to Heathrow Airport has been declared unacceptable because it would harm local residents' amenity and the local road network was incapable of accommodating increased traffic flows.

The council was concerned that the hotel would generate a large number of vehicle movements. Many of these would be coaches, which would have to access the site through narrow residential roads. Although the appellants had agreed to use small buses operating every 30 minutes to link the hotel with the airport, the inspector felt that larger buses and coaches could not be discounted.

The appellants suggested that this problem could be resolved by restricting parking on some local roads. But the council argued that banning street parking on roads leading to the site could harm local shops' viability and simply displace parking onto adjoining roads.

The inspector agreed that any additional on-street parking restrictions would require the council to impose traffic regulation orders and it was unclear whether it was willing to do so. While recognising the motoring skills of many coach drivers, he judged that large vehicles would stray onto the opposite carriageway, potentially leading to gridlock.

In any case, he noted that buses would probably start travelling down the surrounding the residential streets from around 4.30am. Further nuisance would be caused by noise from the hotel's car park and headlights shining into adjacent living room windows, he reasoned. He decided that this level of noise and disturbance would be unacceptable.

DCS Number 100-050-307

Inspector Alan Boyland; Inquiry.

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