Travelodge plan for the West Cliff?

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A MAJOR hotel chain has declared an interest in moving to Whitby and may have found a suitor in Whitby’s West Cliff.

Budget chain Travelodge has long been touted as a suitable candidate should the car park on Royal Crescent be chosen as the site for a future development.

Since its inception in 2008 the Whitby West Cliff Project Team has looked at various issues including development opportunities that include a new hotel on the council-owned West Cliff car park.

Scarborough Borough Council’s head of tourism Brian Bennett said: “The development of the area to include a hotel would create and safeguard jobs in the town and also support the promotion of Whitby Pavilion as a conference venue due to its close proximity.”

Travelodge seem to agree with the proposals and a spokesman said: “We have a long-standing interest in Whitby and would be delighted if we could find a suitable site.

“Over the years a number of potential opportunities have come our way but for whatever reason they have not come off.

“If developers want to contact us with suitable locations we would welcome their proposals.”

Scarborough Borough Council (SBC), which recently welcomed both a Travelodge and a Premier Inn to Scarborough, is keen to encourage the chains to head north. Head of Regeneration and Planning, Pauline Elliott said: “The council would be happy to try to help Travelodge identify a suitable site.”

With the large hotel chains able to offer discounted rates unachievable by independent hotel owners, there are concerns that local hoteliers may suffer as a result.

However Bob Stevens, who owns The Langley on Royal Crescent, would welcome the development, provided it does not take precious parking spaces, already at a premium, away from the area: “I would be delighted with a Travelodge.

“Anything that comes in and brings people into Whitby is a good thing.

“The only problem I have got with it is taking parking places away from normal people.

“Anything that removes just one parking space is a problem.”

Mr Stevens accepted that any hotel developer would be able to build a car park under their structure but pointed out “of course that will only be available to their customers”.

Tucker’s Field was purchased in 1927 by the now-defunct Whitby Urban District Council, with responsibility taken on by SBC on behalf of the people of Whitby, but for the development to continue they may have to sell this asset.