A major chain hotel is set to open in Faversham as part of the controversial Perry Court development.
Henry Davidson Developments (HDD), a company based in the Midlands, has announced it intends to build an 84-bedroom Premier Inn in Ashford Road as part of a £15 million project.
The development, if planning permission is granted, will also include a small supermarket, a 66-bed care home and 310 new homes.
Derek Griffin, head of acquisitions for South and East England at Whitbread, which owns Premier Inn, said: “This is another excellent location for our guests and adds to our growing Premier Inn national network.
“We want to bring our investment and commitment to making this development a great success.
“We are really looking forward to coming to Faversham as part of this exciting scheme.”
Outline planning consent was given to Perry Court despite long-standing concerns from residents around increasing traffic on the heavily congested A2, the loss of high-quality agricultural land and pressures on infrastructure in Faversham, such as schools and health services.
The budget hotel is expected to create 32 new jobs once open and trading.
However, the news was met with concern from B&B and hotel owners in the town.
Mary Mackay, owner of Gladstone Guest House in Newton Road said: “That’s terrible. Faversham is so unique.
“We don’t have a McDonald’s, we don’t have a KFC. Apart from Domino’s, we don’t have the multinationals.
“I think it will be very bad for the pubs, because they do accommodation, and I think it will be very, very bad for the town.
“It will definitely take business from people like me.
“I’m sure I will keep my regulars but I think often people are looking for a cheaper room, and they will get that from the Premier Inn.
“Faversham is very popular.
“My guests say it’s so lovely to come to a town where there are so many independent local shops and I would like to keep it like that.”
"We don't have a McDonald’s, we don't have a KFC... apart from Domino's, we don't have the multinationals" - Mary Mackay
Mel Hatchaid, landlord at the Railway Hotel in Preston Street, said: “Eight-four is more rooms than we have got in Faversham at present.
"It will more than double the number of hotel rooms in the town.”
“It just adds more pressure to the high street. But that’s the world we live in.
“We need to be mindful that there’s a new chain opening, and we just have to make sure we’re in the best shape possible to take that competition on. Development happens.
“I would imagine they will affect us on a Monday to Friday basis, but hopefully the town will exponentially grow to create more demand.”
Premier Inn has more than 750 branches across the UK.
Construction work on the site is expected to start by the end of this year and completed in late 2019.
HDD project director Kevin Foster said: “To have secured a pre-let agreement with Whitbread for a new Premier Inn at this very early stage of the development clearly demonstrates its enormous appeal.
“We have taken an important step forward towards delivering first class new facilities for the people of Faversham and surrounding area.
“We are in the process of agreeing two further pre-lets with highly respected companies who will provide a foodstore and care home, giving this historic market town an enormous boost alongside the new homes being built nearby.”