Hotel owners have reacted with dismay at the council’s decision to back the Gateway scheme, with one branding the vote in favour of it “crazy”.
David Stanbridge, owner of the Cley Hall Hotel, High Street, Spalding, fears a loss of trade and business rates for hotels jeopardised by the business park and hotel development.
The Cley Hall’s fortunes have been turned around in the last three years from being in receivership in July 2011 to being named Small Employer of the Year at the 2013 Lincolnshire and Rutland Skills Awards.
Mr Stanbridge said: “South Holland District Council is shooting itself in the foot by voting for the Gateway scheme as the hotels in the town centre are likely to end up closing.
“It will drag business away from Spalding and the council will therefore end up losing business rates as well.
“We bought the Cley Hall Hotel in July 2011 when it was in receivership and without a Premier Inn as competition.
“Myself and business partner Andrew Robb, along with the staff, have all worked hard over the last three years to turn the hotel around and offer four-star service which we are proud of.
“I think it’s crazy to build another hotel and force the existing ones to close and become domestic residences.”
Hoteliers’ fears over the Gateway scheme were first revealed by our sister paper, the Spalding Guardian, in March when Gan Seta, owner of the Woodlands Hotel, Pinchbeck Road, Spalding, said it was “robbing Peter to pay Paul”.
“Hotels of our size can’t compete against a chain like Premier Inn,” Mr Seta said.