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PLANNING permission has been granted to Leekes of Melksham to build a Premier Inn hotel and a Beefeater restaurant in their car park.
The £7million project will include a 71-bed hotel and 246-cover restaurant, with work expected to begin in the next six months, taking less than 18 months to complete.
The new development will bring 45 full-time jobs to the area and contribute £2.4million to the town’s economy.
The approval of the plans comes despite objections from Melksham Town Council and residents living opposite the proposed development.
The council’s objections raised concerns about the height of the building, the impact on traffic and parking in the area, access to the site, and the impact the current design could have on residents living nearby. Neighbouring residents also had concern about possible anti-social behaviour in the Leekes car park at night and possible late night disturbances caused by customers leaving the restaurant.
Operations director at Leekes Retail, Chris Leeke, told Melksham News, “I am delighted that Wiltshire Council have supported our application to build a Premier Inn with a Beefeater restaurant in an unused section of our store’s car park.
“We will be investing around £7million in the project which on completion will bring 45 valuable full time jobs to Melksham and contribute £2.4million per year to the economy. We have worked hard with the planning officers to ensure that the building design is complementary to the local environment and, following a detailed review, the highway authority are satisfied that any traffic associated with the hotel will not materially impact on overall traffic flows in the area.
“Having met with the town council in advance of the planning meeting, I was able to address a number of the issues they raised by increasing tree landscaping, pedestrian access points and providing additional security measures for the retained car park.
“The project will be an asset to the area and offer an additional facility for the community and visitors to the beautiful Wiltshire countryside.
“We anticipate that construction will commence within the next six months and will take less than 18 months to complete.”