Chiswell Green hotel plans submitted for second time

A PROPOSAL to build a hotel on Green Belt land on the outskirts of St Albans has been submitted to planners for a second time.

Local company 51 Pegasus Ltd want to create the hotel campus combining luxury and budget accommodation in partnership with the world-renowned hotel chain Hilton on land at Copsewood in Chiswell Green.

The initial plans for the four-star Hilton Doubletree Hotel with 150 luxury rooms and a 450 capacity conference centre to be built alongside a budget 120-room Hampton by Hilton Hotel were withdrawn earlier this year but a new application was lodged last week.

The plans have taken on a “greener” design and the proposed site has now been reduced from 16 acres to 10 due to the mini park-and-ride scheme being withdrawn in light of concerns about it and replaced with a bus hopper service which would run three times a day.

Former St Albans MP Kerry Pollard, who is project consultant, said: “Following the withdrawal of the original planning application we held further widespread consultations. The desire for a new, contemporary design approach emerged and an aspiration for a striking landmark building which represented St Albans as an exciting and progressive city.”

He said independent estimates have stated that the hotel complex would bring �6 million per year to the local economy and nearly 130 jobs, as well as a potential alliance with Oaklands College to provide workplace experience.

Mr Pollard pointed out that 42 per cent of Hilton’s customers were from their loyalty programme which had 21 million members across 220 countries, so he said it would result in many new visitors from across the world being, “delivered on a plate to St Albans every year.”

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He added: “Only Hilton could do this. And Hilton has written to say that Copsewood is the only site in St Albans they would consider for their four-star Doubletree hotel offer.”

Alastair Bell, head of hotel design at London-based architects Stride Treglown Bell, said: “Set in an enclosed landscape of greenery and trees, the revised proposal would be of an understated, low impact design.”

He explained that the sustainable aspects of the design would include the use of solar panels that relied on daylight rather than direct sunlight, green roof technology that he said would preserve habitat, clean the air and aid insulation, and other measures such as living walls and rainwater harvesting.