Derelict A505 pub to be turned into 70 room budget hotel?

PLANS are afoot to transform a derelict pub on the A505 into a 70-room budget hotel.

The Horse and Groom has sat empty for around a decade and it may be developed into an Ibis Hotel but attempts to convert the alehouse in both 2006 and 2007 were blocked by South Cambs District Council.

Both of the failed planning proposals were for smaller projects and were thrown out despite gaining the approval of Royston Town Council.

Chairman of the council Robert Smith said: “When the redevelopment of that site came up a couple of months ago the town council were very supportive, it is not in our jurisdiction but we were happy it was going to be redeveloped as it is a bit of an eyesore on a major route into Royston.

“I have got nothing against a 70 room hotel. We’re not particularly well served for rooms in the town or in Royston’s vicinity.”

Cllr Smith told The Crow Royston Town Council were due to have the plans presented to them by the developer’s agents.

Beacon Planning, is working on behalf of a local developer and with Cambridge architects, Barber Casanovas Ruffles.

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The firm claims it has identified a demand for hotel beds in the area south of Cambridge and the site will attract trade as it is en route to both Stansted and London Luton Airport.

The chairman of Steeple Morden Parish Council, John Brocklehurst said: “The council doesn’t have an opinion at the moment. We have seen an informal presentation from the developers but we haven’t seen any plans.

“Personally I’m not convinced there is a need for that sort of motel there, given that beds of local hotels are often empty.

“I was also surprised the developers didn’t know about the proposed wind farm at Litlington. Their mouths dropped open when they heard this.”

An application is expected in the first week of March.