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Lodders advises on sensitive Bath hotel plan

PUBLISHED: 10:46 12 December 2013 | UPDATED: 10:46 12 December 2013

The Premier Inn constructed in place of the old warehouse building.

The Premier Inn constructed in place of the old warehouse building.

Archant

A three year project to bring a major hotel chain to Bath was concluded when a new 108 bedroom hotel was handed over to Premier Inn.

Lodders Solicitors, which recently opened a new office in Cheltenham to service Gloucestershire and the south west, advised MDN Properties and its consultants MacMullen Associates throughout the project.

A three year project to bring a major hotel chain to Bath was concluded when a new 108 bedroom hotel was handed over to Premier Inn.

Lodders Solicitors, which recently opened a new office in Cheltenham to service Gloucestershire and the south west, advised MDN Properties and its consultants MacMullen Associates throughout the project.

A planning application for the £11.5 million project, which has created 50 jobs, was submitted to Bath and North East Somerset Council in February 2011, after extensive consultation. MDN Properties, with Premier Inn, sought to demolish a former fruit warehouse at the corner of James Street West and Kingsmead North and build a 108 bedroom Premier Inn with coffee shop and restaurant to replace “utilitarian buildings” put up in the 1950s after the area was flattened in the wartime Bath Blitz.

Although recommended for approval the application was refused, but MDN subsequently won a planning appeal and was awarded costs against the council. Alastair Frew, real estate partner at Lodders, said: “Development in Bath is always sensitive in view of its architectural heritage and World Heritage status, but with careful consideration and discussion, we have been able to bring this project to fruition.

“Lodders was involved in preparing conditional agreements between the landowners, MDN and Premier Inn and also dealt with the sale of the investment. It is a very exciting scheme and has required a high degree of co-ordination between two landowners, developer and occupier.” David MacMullen, who acted as planning consultant and project co-ordinator, said: “Bath is a difficult place to plan new buildings because the city is so important historically and it can take several years to find a site and develop a design which is acceptable to English Heritage.

“I believe we have created something truly outstanding. Premier Inn is a great brand and the hotel will be a real asset for Bath.”

Nick Norbury a director of Halesowen-based MDN Properties said: “We felt that a modern building which respects the architectural proportions of Georgian Bath and is constructed from familiar Bath stone would add quality and vitality to the street scene.

“We took advice from English Heritage, the Commission for the Built Environment – who both thought the site would be enhanced by our proposed scheme – and had extensive discussions with the council’s experts in planning, historic buildings and conservation.

“This design, by award-winning architect WCEC, has evolved over a long period and we feel it will be a worthy addition to the city in keeping with its world heritage and conservation area status.” Premier Inn, which is Britain’s biggest hotel operator with more than 580 hotels, had been working with MDN Properties to find a suitable site in the centre of Bath for some time.

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Lodders is an established firm of solicitors based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Henley-in-Arden and Cheltenham. They offer specialist advice to individuals and businesses. Private Client work has formed the core of their business for 225 years and remains the common thread of their other main areas of work: property, business and agriculture. They aim to combine technical ingenuity and thoughtful advice with a pragmatic approach to problem solving.

For more information, visit: www.lodders.co.uk

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