Budget hotel chain Travelodge asks South Gloucestershire Council for land to build a hotel in Chipping Sodbury
ONE of the country’s leading budget hotel chains has lodged its interest in opening in Chipping Sodbury.
The Gazette can reveal Travelodge has written to South Gloucestershire Council asking if the authority has any land it would like to develop through a mutually-beneficial partnership.
The company, which opened the UK’s first budget hotel in 1985, is hoping to find land owned by the council for the construction of a new Travelodge hotel in Chipping Sodbury.
In two similar deals with other local authorities, councils have borrowed money from central government under the Public Works Loan Board at a fixed low interest rate and Travelodge is proposing to then enter into a rental agreement with South Gloucestershire Council.
Paul Harvey, managing director for property at Travelodge Hotels, said: “Working with local councils in this creative way has been a great experience for us and as a result of these innovative development partnerships, we have today written to 124 councils, which includes South Gloucestershire to see if we can work together on a similar partnership.
“If South Gloucestershire Council has suitable land or assets in a location that is viable for a Travelodge hotel, then we would be delighted to work with them to help boost their local economy, create new jobs within the community and generate a good return for their investment.”
This week a Travelodge has opened in Aylesbury, in a development funded by Aylesbury & Vale Council using money borrowed from the Public Works Loan Board. The council borrowed £18million at a fixed low interest rate of 4.5 per cent to develop strategic land it owned, constructing not just a Travelodge but a Waitrose and a multi-storey car park.
The firm confirmed it was specifically interested in opening a hotel in Chipping Sodbury, although it does not have a piece of land in mind.
But Mark Lloyd, chairman of Sodbury Chamber of Commerce, said the chain was not in keeping with Chipping Sodbury.
“I can't think of anything worse than a low value hotel chain in such a beautiful town as Chipping Sodbury,” he said. “Bristol already has over 130 hotels and Chipping Sodbury isn't a big enough town to sustain a hotel of this size or reputation. A Travelodge would need to attract travellers away from Bristol to make it viable and visitors to this area concentrate on convenience.”
Mr Lloyd, who runs Rounceval House Hotel in Rounceval Street, added: “While they say it would create jobs if they put all of our local hotels out of business this would have a detrimental effect on the job market.”
The proposal comes in the same week as Waitrose opens on Barnhill Quarry, where 160 new homes are also due to be built and preliminary works are underway on a new McCarthy and Stone elderly people’s housing complex.
A South Gloucestershire Council spokesman said: "To date, we have not received the letter, however, our general policy is that we prefer to put any surplus land out to informal tender or auction to ensure that we receive the best price.
"Any unsolicited enquiries are normally referred to our website www.southglos.gov.uk/saleorrent to look out for details of upcoming land and property sales."
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