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Skipton hotel wins permission to create suites
8:00am Friday 28th December 2012 in News
Skipton's Rendezvous Hotel has been given the go-ahead to create large, individual suites with their own balconies – despite concerns they will lead to more noise and disturbance.
The Keighley Road hotel bosses wanted to attract families by providing five larger suites overlooking the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, Craven District Council’s planning committee heard.
Hotel owner Malcolm Weaving told councillors that he wanted to cater for families and to secure their custom for years to come.
But the committee heard from neighbouring-ward councillor, Andy Solloway (Ind), that residents of houses at the rear of the hotel were worried about noise from guests using the balconies. He said properties on the other side of the canal would be overlooked by the balconies.
“These balconies will provide shelter for most of the year, even in the poorest of weather, and will be somewhere for people to go to smoke or drink,” he said.
He added that the balconies would not only overlook residents, but also moored boats, and reminded councillors how the now-closed nightclub attached to the hotel had kept the council’s environmental health department busy with noise complaints from residents.
But Mr Weaving told the committee that the hotel was a success and was now keen to adapt to changes in the market, which required larger suites.
“The balconies will make the hotel more attractive to families and we want to attract families because these things tend to be hereditary, children bring their children,” he said.
He added that the balconies would only be four feet wide and any suggestion that they would attract noisy gatherings was “silly”.
“I am a respectable licensee. I look after the comfort of my customers and I would do my best to protect them from any excessive noise. If there was any noise coming from the balconies, we would stop it,” he said.
Coun Paul English (Lib Dem) said it was a mistake to think that everyone who stayed in hotels was a “rock star who wanted to trash the rooms” and that Skipton was a tourist town with a need for higher- end hotel accommodation.
“If people are being a nuisance, then they will be evicted,” he said.
“I can see no reason why people shouldn’t be able to have a balcony overlooking the canal.”
Coun Robert Heseltine (Ind) said the concerns of the residents were valid and suggested if approval was given that a condition should be added tying the balconies to the residential suites, preventing them being used in the future as part of function suites.
He tried to add an amendment to this effect but it was defeated.
But Coun Ken Hart (Ind) said there appeared to be no objection to the balconies, only the noise they might generate, and that would be dealt with by the hotel management.
“Since Mr Weaving has taken over the hotel, it has become a great asset to Skipton and we should not stand in the way of progress,” he said.