Published: 12:00, 24 November 2016
| Updated: 16:10, 24 November 2016
Plans for a 120-bedroom hotel in the town centre have been approved, despite concerns about its “hideous” yellow cladding.
The building, designed by Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners, for HDD Ashford, will be built on the corner of Beaver Road and Victoria Road, opposite the International Station.
Previously the Kentish Express reported that the hotel is the final piece of the jigsaw for the £50 million so-called Victoria Way scheme, which includes a new Aldi supermarket, more than 200 apartments, shops and a new brewery visitor centre.
But Ashford Borough Council’s planning committee members debated the appearance of the new hotel building.
Cllr Bernard Heyes (Con) said: “I have one concern, and that is the hideous yellow cladding on the outside. It reminds me of the Travelodge in Maidstone.”
The hotel in St Peter’s Street in Maidstone was criticised when it was beset by rust streaks running down its side after it was first built in 2010.
Meanwhile, Cllr Paul Clokie asked if it was possible to redesign the hotel to include a roof garden for guests.
In response, council leader Gerry Clarkson said: “I don’t think we are here to redesign the hotel.
"I’m not sure about the colour of the facade. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
Cllr Harold Apps (Con) praised the building design. He said: “It will bring an attractive urban frontage along with the other proposals we approved in October.
"It is a dramatic, high quality looking building which is appropriate to the street corner.”
Cllr Graham Galpin (Con) added: “This is an important keystone to the south of the town, and will be part of a new generation of railway hotels.
“I’m sure some of us have stayed in the tired old railway hotels in the past, but this site is along a 21st century railway line, with a 21st century station, so it will be a 21st century hotel.”