City councillors have called time on a “monolithic” development that would have seen an historic Lancaster hotel being converted into a retirement home.
Residents have won their battle to stop the 140-year-old Greaves Hotel, in Greaves Road, becoming a 54 apartment care home for the over 70s after councillors rejected the proposal by a narrow margin of eight votes to six.
At a Lancaster City Council planning meeting on Monday, residents in Belle Vue Terrace, Ash Grove and Brunton Road spoke out against the proposal, which they said would have a negative impact on the area.
Michael Abrahamson, of Belle Vue Terrace said: “The Greaves Hotel is the only residential hotel in south Lancaster, and it’s very much an economically viable concern.
“The city needs more and better hotels, and The Greaves Hotel has the potential to become a significant economic asset to the city.”
Resident David Bennett spoke out against the “poor design” adding: “Not one person has said that they like the design.”
And Karen Mills said: “The proposal doesn’t comply with the Lancaster District Local Plan. It is overbearing, over-dominating and it will overshadow neighbouring properties.”
Andrew Neill, of Belle Vue Terrace said: “The ‘belle vue’ of Belle Vue Terrace will be no more.”
Other residents spoke of the overbearing and overdominating aspect of the proposal, and parking pressures that more residents and staff at the development would have on neighbouring streets. Chris Butt spoke on behalf of the Bournemouth based developer, McCarthy and Stone.
He said that the company had carefully considered car parking issues adding: “Car parking is likely to drop off as the age profile of the residents increases.”
He also said that the Mitchells owned hotel was “not a viable business”. But councillors rejected the proposal, going against the recommendation of council officers.
Coun Tony Johnson said: “I seem to remember that when permission for the Travelodge in Lancaster was granted, there wasn’t enough bed space in the south of Lancaster, so why are we getting rid of this hotel?
“The proposal is monolithic, badly designed and there’s not enough parking.”