80-bed hotel plan in the pipeline for Hunstanton
A new, large hotel could form part of plans for the long-term regeneration of Hunstanton, according to a new report.
West Norfolk Council chiefs have revealed they are looking into the idea, which would also coincide with efforts to revamp the town’s southern seafront.
But some traders have questioned whether the plan will progress and the potential consequences for existing businesses if it does.
Details of the project were briefly outlined in papers published ahead of the borough council’s scheduled meeting on Thursday.
Peter Gidney, the authority’s cabinet member for project delivery, said: “We are exploring the possibility of an 80-bed hotel in Hunstanton with a major company in the hospitality industry.
“This will link with the Hemingway Design proposals to come forward for public consultation, hopefully soon.”
Urban designer Wayne Hemingway is looking at the southern end of the seafront in Hunstanton to seehow it can be made to deliver more for the community.
A public consultation exercise, asking residents and visitors what they wanted to see in the town, was undertaken last year, after the authority commissioned the company to draw up proposals for the area.
Although the firm involved in the discussions has not been named in the report, one of the chains that could be in the running for the scheme is Premier Inn, which already runs a hotel in Lynn and opened a similarly-sized hotel to that envisaged for Hunstanton in Skegness earlier this year.
However, while a Premier Inn spokesman said Hunstanton “is a location into which we would like to expand” it said it did not have any specific plans in place at the moment.
“It will be a case of whether a suitable site and opportunity comes up.”
Another possible contender, Travelodge, told the Lynn News it was unable to comment.
Some independent hoteliers raised concerns about the potential impact.
And Shirley Stephenson, who runs the Ellinbrook Guest House in Hunstanton, said she feared some there could suffer too.
She said: “There’s more people than rooms in the summer but I don’t think that’s the case in the winter. It could reach the limit for those who are on the edge of not coping.”
She added: “It has been rumoured for a long, long time.”
More by this authorAllister Webb