Much-needed airport hotel proposal rejected

Hotel News - 09/06/2008

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Businesses in the north-east say that Aberdeen Airport needs more airport hotels but plans to construct such enterprises have been refused. Local businesses recently voiced their displeasure at the decision at councillors.

The city council planning committee recently rejected a joint application to built a 172-bed Garden Inn and a 102-bed Premier Travel Inn. The projects, according to the planning application are a “much needed” solution to a “chronic” shortage of hotels in Aberdeen.

Business leaders say the decision is “extremely disappointing” particularly in light of Aberdeen’s goal to gain “global super-region” status by 2025.

The application for the new hotels was submitted by KW Properties, a developing firm, in conjunction with Aberdeen Airport. The proposal included the creation of a 1000 space long-stay parking facility at the Dyce Drive business park.

According to Tom Smith, the chairman of Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Forum (Acsef), the decision comes “at a time when a lack of hotel accommodation has been highlighted as a barrier to the current and future development of business accommodation and the tourism market”.

Geoff Runcie, the chief executive of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: “There is a clear responsibility now on both planners and committee members to recognise and embrace the key responsibilities that we have in enabling projects which have an economic-development impact, such as the provision of additional hotel capacity.”

The city council voted against the proposal 12-2. Committee convener Scott Cassie said: “Whilst recognising the need for hotel space, the council recently approved a number of new hotels, and the development of this site is so fundamentally important to the economic future of the north-east that it is imperative that this is not prejudiced by an unco-ordinated approach.”

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