By IH 02/05 Updated: 04/05 07:36
PROTESTERS are celebrating after controversial plans to build a hotel at Warwick Racecourse were rejected.
Warwick District Council plans committee refused permission for a 100-bed hotel and new entrance to the Hampton Road course at a meeting on Tuesday (May 1).
The reason was the impact the development would have on the surrounding conservation area and neighbouring residents.
Residents' spokesman Nigel Hamilton said: "We are extremely pleased. We thought we had a strong and well argued case.
"The problem with the hotel right from the start was the actual site was too small for the size of building Warwick Racecourse wanted to build. It would have led to an unacceptable loss of amenities for residents and damage to conservation area.
Mr Hamiltion - who was among more than 60 protesters outside Leamington Town Hall ahead of the meeting - added he was convinced an alternative plan could be successful if Warwick Racecourse worked with both the council and local community.
Racecourse bosses had applied to build the four storey hotel opposite the junction of Friars Street and Crompton Street. It would also have involved the demolition of an existing bungalow and the current single storey entrance hall.
In trying to convince planners to give the go-ahead, racecourse bosses had argued the course was a major contributor to Warwick's economy, annually attracting 50,000 race-goers to the town.
The application had been recommended to be granted in a report to the committee from council officers. It stated the economic benefits outweighed the impact on the surrounding area - something the committee did not agree with.
It is not yet known if Warwick Racecourse plan to appeal against the decision.
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