Britannia Hotels in spat with Manchester City Council over fire station site

11 June 2010 by
Britannia Hotels in spat with Manchester City Council over fire station site

A long-running feud between Britannia Hotels and Manchester City Council looks set to continue, despite the company's submission of a planning application to turn a listed former fire station into a four-star, 227-bedroom hotel.

Council leaders say they have earmarked £5m in the capital budget to make a compulsory purchase of the landmark property in London Road and resell it to another developer, as a result of the site being left to deteriorate since Britannia Hotels bought the building in 1993. English Heritage put the Grade II listed property on its Buildings at Risk register in 1999.

However, the council must now make a decision on the planning application by 31 August 2010.

Chief executive of Manchester City Council, Howard Bernstein, wrote in a report in December 2009 that the fire station site is "one of the biggest elements of blight in this area, and the city council and its partners believe that its harmful effect will soon start to be a significant impediment to further change in the area."

Britannia Hotels' chief executive Alex Langsam was unavailable for comment, but a spokesman for the company said the submission of the planning application and spending of £500,000 on fees amounted to significant progress in the regeneration of the site.

"Hopefully it will demonstrate to the council our level of commitment to taking this project forward," he said. "We were disappointed when the council indicated that they were prepared to use CPO powers, because we are serious in our ambition to make this a flagship development."

Britannia has commissioned the design of the hotel to the Liverpool office of architect and historical building consultant Purcell Miller Tritton. Built in 1906, the property was once home to 40 firemen and includes a training tower.

A Manchester City Council report in December 2009 said that there was a shortfall in hotel accommodation in Manchester city centre and the fire station project would help this "pent-up demand".

If Britannia is granted permission to redevelop the fire station as a hotel, the property will join two other properties owned and operated by the company in the city centre - the 363-bedroom Britannia Manchester and the 223-bedroom Sachas hotel.

Britannia owns a total of 35 hotels, comprising 7,000 bedrooms, throughout the UK, including the renowned Adelphi hotel in Liverpool.

Four of the UK's dirtiest hotels owned by Britannia Hotels >>

Britannia Hotels fined over health and hygiene breaches >>

Britannia buys Bournemouth hotel from administrators >>

By Janet Harmer

E-mail your comments to Janet Harmer here.

If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to jobs

Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with jobs

[Newsletters For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail newsletters.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking