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Travelodge puts in new plans for Abingdon Road hotel
BUDGET hotel chain Travelodge has made a revised multi-million pound bid to build a hotel in Oxford’s Abingdon Road.
The firm originally wanted a four-storey hotel with 83 bedrooms on the former Motorworld site next to the Redbridge Park and Ride.
But Oxford City Council threw out the plans in July last year claiming they were too large and would dominate the area.
Now fresh plans have been submitted to the city council, with Thame-based Travelodge putting in a completely new scheme costing £5.5m.
The proposals are for the same number of bedrooms – but over three floors.
A car park with 45 spaces – two more than originally proposed – is also included.
The new building has been designed by Oxford-based Adrian James Architects who were given the brief to “return to first principles and design from scratch a hotel”.
They say the building will create a “new gateway” to the city from the south.
The Rev Jane Sherwood, vicar of nearby St Luke’s Church, said: “There is probably room for a Travelodge there and I don’t think it will have much of an impact because it is quite near the ring road.”
Susi Golding, director of Visit Oxfordshire, said Oxford needs more hotels.
She said: “There is a shortage of hotel accommodation generally because we are a year-round destination and we get a lot of visiting academics and business people. There is pressure on the market in the city.”
City councillor Colin Cook, board member for city development, said: “Oxford needs good quality hotels, especially in the low to mid-price range.”
He added: “We will judge any application which comes before us on its merits.”
Tyndale House in Cowley Road is currently subject to a planning application to turn it into a 66-bedroom hotel while work on a £2m extension to the Oxford Four Pillars Hotel in Sandford-on-Thames is currently under way to cater for growing demand.
Two boutique hotels have also opened in the city centre recently, in George Street and St Michael’s Street.
Grant Hearn, chief executive of Travelodge, estimated the hotel would generate £850,000 a year for the local economy.
The site is currently owned by Jewson Holdings.
Steve Bower of UK Bathroom Warehouse, which is renting the site, said: “We have not heard anything and we will continue to trade until further notice.”