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