Third attempt to build Chiswell Green Hilton hotel

DEVELOPERS are hoping it will be third time lucky in their bid to build a new 150-bedroom hotel and conference facilities on a St Albans site.

51 Pegasus have made two unsuccessful planning applications for a Hilton Hotel at a rundown site off the Noke roundabout in Chiswell Green.

And in a bid to overcome some of the objections from St Albans council, the new plan has introduced a number of amendments.

The major concern is that the site, known as Copsewood, is in the Green Belt but planners were also unhappy about a number of other issues including overdevelopment, the lack of space between buildings and the boundary with Lye Lane and the extent of new tree planting.

There have been two significant changes to the new planning application. Instead of creating a parkland setting in which to site the development, 51 Pegasus is now planning to work within the existing landscape and foliage so the site will be heavily screened. That will mean planting new trees and enhancing the existing foliage.

The hotel will also be positioned further away from Lye Lane and the proposed staff hostel has been removed from the plan. The amendment is intended to release green space along the Lye Lane boundary which is earmarked for a vegetable garden.

No objections have been raised by the council to the design of the hotel which will be a four star Hilton Doubletree and a hopper bus is proposed to take both guests and local residents into and out of St Albans city centre.

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Nicola Bond, a director of 51 Pegasus, said: “After further discussions with officers we have moved away from the former parkland setting to create a wooded landscape in 10 acres including the planting of many new trees and retaining measures to improve the poor biodiversity.

“The hotel, with the help of the hopper bus, would bring new visitors to spend money in the city centre shops and local attractions; it would offer local jobs and create excellent new facilities for both local residents and businesses in a beautiful rural setting – it would be a great economic boost for the city.”

St Albans council has long recognised a need for more hotel space in St Albans and Premier Inns have also submitted a third application for a hotel in St Peter’s Street.

It is believed that the two applications will be considered at a planning referrals meeting in October.