Housing bid for hotel site 'unacceptable', Emneth parish leaders claim
Community leaders have branded plans to turn part of a hotel on the edge of West Norfolk into a house of multiple occupation (HMO) as "unacceptable" and "unrealistic".
Up to 39 people could be accommodated in the HMO at the Elme Hall Hotel in Emneth, which developers claim is now unviable in its present form.
West Norfolk councillors have been advised to approve the development, which would provide 26 bedrooms, at a planning committee meeting next Monday, May 9.
But parish councillors in Emneth are among the groups opposed to the idea, which they described as an "unacceptable and incompatible use" of the site.
The application is focused on the annex part of the building, where 13 single occupancy and 13 double occupancy rooms would be provided, plus communal lounge and kitchen facilities on each of its four floors.
The main hotel building will continue to operate.
Developers claim "vast" market research identified the Elme Hall site as the best place for a scheme of this kind, which they argue will offer accommodation for young professionals working in the area.
They also claim the hotel is unviable in its present form because of the loss of contractor trade to an expanded Premier Inn at Lynn.
But Fenland District Council objected to earlier proposals for the site, because of what they argued would be the negative impact on tourism.
And the Emneth authority has also raised questions about what it claims are the "limited" job opportunities for the sort of clients that developers believe would live on the site.
They said: "It is felt that this is not only unachievable but unrealistic in the current climate."
But West Norfolk planning officials say there would be "minimal changes" to the building's appearance and the scheme meets policy guidelines.