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Major boost for Sandwich as 75-bed Travelodge planned at Discovery Park

ByEleanor Perkins

Tourism could be boosted after a planning application for a Travelodge at Discovery Park has received huge support.

The 75-bedroom hotel on land off the Sandwich Bypass is said to be aimed at supporting business people visiting the enterprise zone.

It would also provide four full time and eight part time jobs.

The proposed Travelodge in Sandwich would have 75 bedrooms
The proposed Travelodge in Sandwich would have 75 bedrooms

Not a single objection has been lodged with planning authority Dover District Council since the application was validated on July 3.

Instead, groups including Sandwich Town Council, have given it full backing in the hope it will promote tourism in the town.

The Mayor of Sandwich, Jeff Franklin, said: "It will be good for Discovery Park and Sandwich. It will bring business people to the town..

"Hopefully once they've used it and seen how beautiful Sandwich is, they will come back and visit with their families.

"They will use our restaurants and pub and even visit our museum to find out more about Sandwich."

The application states the building would be positioned in the corner of Car Park D at Discovery Park backing on to Spitfire Way with Montagu Road to the side.

There would also be a ground floor retail unit and associated car parking.

The Travelodge would be built in the car park next to Montagu Road and Spitfire Way Picture: Google Earth
The Travelodge would be built in the car park next to Montagu Road and Spitfire Way Picture: Google Earth

David Foley, chief executive of Dover District Chamber of Commerce, said: "Discovery Park not only hosts some of the best life science facilities in Europe, it is also a global hub for science and innovation.

"On-site hotel accommodation will greatly improve the attraction of its conference and event facilities as well as supporting the needs of current tenants, many of whom have well-established international links that engender frequent visits from clients and colleagues requiring overnight stays in close proximity to their main offices and laboratories.

"The Dover District suffers from relatively high levels of youth unemployment compared to the rest of Kent. The latest figures show that 6.2% of 18 to 24 year olds in the Dover District are

unemployed, compared to 3.9% in Kent [Nomis, June 2019].

"Discovery Park is the jewel in the crown of the Dover District in terms of job opportunities in sunrise industries.

"If we are serious about supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics in our backyard, then this application deserves to be accepted without undue delay."

Tourism South East and Visit Kent are also among the supporters.

They also say the hotel will stimulate further jobs and investment at the science park.

Travelodge has set its sights on more coastal locations
Travelodge has set its sights on more coastal locations

Andrew Ayers said: "We need more affordable, quality accommodation which will benefit local businesses and increase tourism.

"It doesn't make sense that Discovery Park has c3000 employees, numerous visitors, yet has to send people to a hotel in Ramsgate! This Travelodge will help support Discovery Park's growth and creation of more employment opportunities in the area, which are very much needed."

Pfizer has also given its backing. They say: "We feel this would greatly enhance the site and provide localised accommodation that would benefit Pfizer’s many global travellers and visitors."

The popular hotel brand is attempting to open 26 new seaside properties as part of a "coastal expansion programme" celebrating its 20th year in Brighton - its first coastal branch.

Both Deal and Sandwich featured on its new target list published last week. Other Kent towns earmarked were Canterbury, Whitstable and Folkestone.

Tony O Brien, Travelodge's UK development director said: “We are seeing the rebirth of British seaside resorts and coastal towns as a result of Britons changing holiday habits.

"We are becoming a strong staycation nation that likes to take lots of short breaks throughout the year rather than a traditional two week block holiday.

"To support this growing trend, we are looking to enter new markets and extend our network of coastal location hotels so that we can offer more choice and greater value to the modern leisure traveller."

To find out more or have your say go to DDC's Planning Portal and search reference 19/00741

Read more: All the latest news from Sandwich

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