Plans for an 80 bedroom Premier Inn hotel to be built in Ashburton have been unveiled to the public. The plans include a full restaurant and a car park to be built on the Dolbeare Meadow Business Park, adjacent to the A38.
Planners estimate that the development would give a £2m boost to the local economy.
The three-storey hotel would create around 30 new jobs, with some local residents at the viewing expressing concern that the jobs would not necessarily go to people from the town.
Plans for a Premier Inn in Tavistock were thrown out earlier this year. One of the main objections was that Premier Inn asked the local authority to pay for the build, with the hotel chain leasing it from them afterwards.
However, Paul Smith, Acquisition Manager at Premier Inn has confirmed to The Moorlander that the cost of the build will be solely paid for by Premier Inn.
“We want to contribute to Ashburton, Dartmoor National Park and the opportunity to grow the local tourism and leisure economy successfully and sustainably.”
A number of councillors and townspeople are split on the merits of the proposed £5 million hotel with the local accommodation network.
Local resident Peter Moss said: “There are one
or two issues that they should address, such as parking for the town. The town has a terrible parking problem. It constrains growth and people need to contribute to infrastructure”.
Another resident Gillian Feest said: “I was concerned but I feel slightly better having seen the plans. I would like to see better guarantees from Premier Inn that the 30 or so jobs will go to local people.”
There is currently no public transport from the proposed site to Ashburton town centre. However, the planners have considered the environmental impact of the build. The building will source much of its power from renewable energy sources, including solar panels and heat source air-pumps.
If the proposal gets the go ahead, construction would start early next year and complete in
mid-2021. Dartmoor National Park will now consider the plans.