Fears that hotel expansion plans could cause parking chaos

Thetford's Premiere Inn Hotel located in Maine Street submits plans to expand. Photo: Google Maps

Thetford's Premiere Inn Hotel located in Maine Street submits plans to expand. Photo: Google Maps - Credit: Google Map Images

Fears have been raised that parking at a hotel will spill into a main road as plans to extend it, for a third time, are submitted.

Premier Inn, in Maine Street, Thetford, has submitted plans to Breckland council to extend the hotel and make alterations to the site's car park.

The hotel sits alongside The Warrener Restaurant, both operated by Whitbread, and shares a car park which currently has 126 spaces.

The proposal would mean the hotel would gain 28 new guest bedrooms, resulting in a total of 116 bedrooms, but a loss of 26 car parking spaces.

Susan Dowling, who represents the Thetford Priory ward on Breckland Council, said: "The size of the proposed annexe seems out of proportion to its location.

"I think its going to have a detrimental impact on the people who live nearby and they are going to be overlooked."

The planning documents state that the new extension will be able to cope with reduced parking.

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It says: "With consideration given to the maximum demand generated by the site, it is likely that a demand for up to 98 car parking spaces would be generated during the evening period at which time the on-site restaurant would attract visitors during the evening mealtime period."

Ms Dowling added: "It has been extended twice already and they want to extend it again.

"The residents at the back are in bungalows and are elderly and they are very stressed about it.

"I think the council should carefully consider this because it's going to have such a large impact on the lives of people around there."

Residents have voiced their concerns about the hotel extension on the Breckland Council website.

One complainant said: "I was notified of the planning application regarding the Premier Inn and I was horrified.

"As it stands at the moment we have problems with cars parking on pavements and verges and I can only see the situation becoming worse if the planned building of an extension goes ahead."

A spokesperson for Premier Inn said: "We have undertaken three week-long surveys at varying times of the year to understand parking demand at the site.

"The hotel and restaurant experience peak-parking demand at different times of the day and we believe there is sufficient capacity to accommodate the proposed annexe to the hotel.

"We are aware of local residents' concerns and are continuing to monitor demand over the summer and will be conducting further surveys.

"Should the application be granted planning consent, we will construct and manage the annexe with the utmost respect for our neighbours."