Former mayor says scrapping of hotel plan is 'bitter blow' for Worcester

Worcester News: Former Worcester mayor Roger Berry says Worcester has lost too much industry Former Worcester mayor Roger Berry says Worcester has lost too much industry

A FORMER Mayor of Worcester has hit out at the city’s failures to attract a top-quality hotel – and warns that providing more jobs is vital to the future.

Councillor Roger Berry says the city has “lost too much industry” and home-building alone will not sustain the economy.

The Labour stalwart, now the cabinet member for health and well-being, said the scrapping of a proposal by Berkeley Homes for a four-star hotel off St Peter’s Street in Diglis was a bitter blow to the city.

As your Worcester News revealed on Friday, the developer has now secured planning approval for 39 apartments on the site, opposite the Commandery in Sidbury, instead.

The decision follows years of failed attempts to entice a boutique hotelier into Worcester, with outline planning permission originally having been approved in 2006.

The site, which is on part of the old Royal Worcester Porcelain complex, has now largely gone to apartments.

Coun Berry said: “This location was very important for Worcester. We lost a significant amount of industry.

“We were told we would be getting new jobs but it hasn’t happened. The area is of good quality, but it could be so much better.

“Offices get turned into apartments and so we lose more potential jobs, and promises get made but don’t happen.”

Berkeley Homes says the economic climate was part of the reason hotel operators were reluctant to come in – an opinion shared by Worcester City Council’s planning department, which believes the location was wrong.

The Diglis development now houses the HQ for Postcode Anywhere, a gym and hairdressers.

A Premier Inns hotel has been built at New Road, the home of Worcestershire County Cricket Club, and the council says operators are still interested in Worcester.


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Comments (3)

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4:59pm Thu 2 Jan 14

lilboo says...

Why exactly did Worcester need ANOTHER hotel anyway? Has councillor berry not seen the latest 'piece of architecture' alongside the river?
Why exactly did Worcester need ANOTHER hotel anyway? Has councillor berry not seen the latest 'piece of architecture' alongside the river? lilboo

6:36pm Thu 2 Jan 14

julie allsopp says...

Agree there lilboo. Our daughter in law got 4 nights last minute stay at the w
Worcester Whitehouse hotel over the Christmas period. Proves that place wasn't sold out over the festive period!
Agree there lilboo. Our daughter in law got 4 nights last minute stay at the w Worcester Whitehouse hotel over the Christmas period. Proves that place wasn't sold out over the festive period! julie allsopp

10:44pm Thu 2 Jan 14

Samboy says...

Architects may build dream hotels into their Planning Applications to help get them passed BUT the viability of any hotel or other business will be decided by the people who have to put the money up. When will Councils realise that they cannot force anyone to conform to their ideology whether it be buildings or banning motor cars. Entrepreneurs vote with their money and customers vote with their feet.
Architects may build dream hotels into their Planning Applications to help get them passed BUT the viability of any hotel or other business will be decided by the people who have to put the money up. When will Councils realise that they cannot force anyone to conform to their ideology whether it be buildings or banning motor cars. Entrepreneurs vote with their money and customers vote with their feet. Samboy

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