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150-bedroom hotel in Eclipse Park, Maidstone, given planning permission days after council refuse permission for Newnham Court shopping centre

20 June 2014
by Chris Price

A 150-bedroom hotel has been given planning approval by a council days after it refused permission for a shopping centre at a site next door.

Maidstone council have given the thumbs up to Gallagher Properties to go ahead with the development at Eclipse Park on the edge of Maidstone.

The decision was made by planning officers under powers delegated to them after councillors approved the original application in July 2010.

Planning permissPlanning permission has been granted for a 150-bedroom hotel at Eclipse Park

Planning permissPlanning permission has been granted for a 150-bedroom hotel at Eclipse Park

This was subject to a series of conditions, which have now been met.

Last week councillors refused an application to build a Waitrose, Debenhams and larger Nottcutts garden centre at Newnham Court next door.

"It is clear that the site’s proximity to the recently opened Kent Institute of Medicine and Surgery, make it a very attractive proposition for a hotel operator..." - Gallagher Group's Nick Yandle

Officers recommended refusal of the scheme saying the applicants had not followed the government’s “sequential test”, which required them to consider all available town centre sites first.

The hotel will include a restaurant and conference facilities at the 16-acre site, next to Junction 7 of the M20.

Gallagher Group chief executive Nick Yandle said: “We can now enter into serious negotiations with a number of operators who have already expressed interest in developing a hotel of this size in Maidstone.

"It is clear that the site’s proximity to the recently opened Kent Institute of Medicine and Surgery, make it a very attractive proposition for a hotel operator.

“The planning officers were particularly impressed with the quality of the proposed design and we look forward to delivering a hotel that supports Maidstone’s business and visitor economy.”

Eclipse Park is already home to asb law, DHA Planning, accountancy firm DSH, and Orbit Housing Association.

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