Revised plan for Hilton hotel submitted to St Albans council

A NEW bid to build a 150-bed hotel on a Green Belt site alongside a busy roundabout has been submitted to the district council.

Local company 51 Pegasus Ltd have drawn up revised plans for a four-star Hilton Doubletree Hotel on the site known as Copsewood in Chiswell Green in a third attempt to get planning permission for the scheme.

51 Pegasus has done away with the original proposal to include a budget hotel and park and ride on the site as well in favour of a far more landscaped development for the site which is on a Green Belt site off the Noke roundabout.

The new scheme came about as a result of meetings with St Albans planning officers which followed the refusal of the last planning application in April.

The hotel building has been resited and extensively redesigned and incorporates a number of sustainable measures while still sitting alongside a conference centre as originally proposed.

The main difference is that the landscaping of the grounds has been considerably extended to create a wooded parkland environment and will include an orchard, a walled vegetable garden, a number of pools and a stumpery.

Nicola Bond, director of 51 Pegasus, said: “The original plan may have been too urban and heavy so we have aimed for a much more rural feel. We are keeping lots of trees and planting new ones - there is something like six acres of landscaping.

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“There will be formal areas around the edge of the hotel but a lot will be meadow-like.”

She described the newly-designed hotel as “much more interesting and lighter” and said the staff hostel had been moved to the back of the site which meant it would not be seen from the road.

Although the original idea of incorporating a St Albans park and ride scheme on the site has now been dropped, a scheduled hopper bus for guests will run to and from the city centre taking in key locations like the railway station.

51 Pegasus maintain the hotel and conference centre could bring some �4 million annually to the local economy and are hoping to go into partnership with Oaklands College to provide work placement opportunities and apprenticeships for students.

Nicola added: “We hope and believe this new hotel design will be seen as a future landmark building for St Albans: a completely unique and very prestigious addition to the city’s public domain.”