Medway Council approve controversial hotel plan in Rochester

Members of Medway Councils planning committee approved a controversial application to build a multi-million pound hotel in the heart of Rochester, much to the dismay of opposing councillors.

The planning application proposed the demolition of the existing car wash outside of Rochester station, part demolition of an existing wall and the construction of a 100 bedroom hotel with a basement and rooftop bar.

The construction of the hotel is set to cost around £6.5 million.

Councillors voted in favour of the plan with nine votes to five, however some councillors fear the five-storey building will obstruct the towns historic views.

Rochester East ward Cllr Nick Bowler described the design as ugly as he told the committee why he would not be voting for the plan. He said: “Cllr Ettridge described it as an abomination.

“That might be a bit extreme, but he isn’t far off. It’s ugly.”

Talks for the hotel have been ongoing for more than three years. In that time, the council have brought three different architects in to construct a hotel that the planning committee would vote in favour of.

Cllr Adrian Gulvin said he welcomed the hotel design to the eclectic mix of architecture which he thinks is one of the main joys of Rochester.

He said: “I think this would be good for Rochester, it will be good for Medway and I urge my colleagues to support it.”

The planning application may have been approved, however the council still need to find a company that will take on the project before they can get digging.

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