March 11 2014 Latest news:
By Matthew Gooding
Thursday, February 27, 2014
A derelict pub is being put up for sale after its owner conceded defeat in an eight-year battle to build a budget hotel.
The site of the Horse and Groom, on the A505 at Litlington, will be auctioned in April following a decision by the Planning Inspectorate to reject an appeal over South Cambridgeshire District Council’s decision to turn down plans for a 70-bedroom budget hotel.
Stuart Findlay, who owns the land, had hoped to build an ibis hotel there, but has repeatedly been turned down by the district council since first submitting plans in 2007.
He said: “I am afraid we had the appeal turned down. Everyone was surprised. It has been a long haul all for nothing, and it has cost me a great deal of money with nothing to show for it. We so wanted to build a budget hotel on the site, but there is nothing more we can do.”
The hotel plan had the support of various local bodies, including Royston Town Council and the town’s Chamber of Commerce.
Mr Findlay added: “It is a ridiculous situation when the Royston area is desperate for new and modern hotel accommodation as the town grows. We have permission for a large restaurant, with rooms, on the two-acre site. Or the pub could be renovated. It is a brilliant site and I suppose someone will find a use for it. The A505 is very busy.
“Our dream for a modern hotel for Royston will remain just that, and though we will continue to look for a site, it is difficult to see where we could find one more suitable. Thanks to all the local people who have backed us, in particular to Royston Town Council and MP Oliver Heald, who has been very supportive throughout.”
South Cambridgeshire District Council rejected the hotel plan because it considered it overdevelopment of the site.
The council’s cabinet member for planning, Nick Wright, said: “The proposals put forward to committee were for a much bigger low budget hotel that was simply too large.
“We have no objection to a hotel being built there, but plans should be in keeping with the location.”