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London underground hotel given go-ahead

28 December 2016 by
London underground hotel given go-ahead

Plans for a windowless hotel in London's Bloomsbury have been described as "letting down the West End" by councillors who opposed the development.

The 166-bedroom hotel will be built on the site of a former NCP car park underneath the St Giles hotel on Great Russell Street.

It is intended that he development will be a Japanese-style "pod" hotel offering a budget option for tourists and business travellers, who will not be able to book more than three consecutive nights.

Air quality concerns led Camden Council to initially reject the plans, but an appeal has since been upheld.

When plans were considered in January 2016, the artificially lit hotel with no restaurant or bar was criticised due to concerns over air quality five storeys down.

Now work is due to start, Councillor Glenys Roberts has told the Telegraph that guests would be treated "like a bunch of troglodytes in an underground cave". She added that the hotel was "letting down the West End."

Katy Walker, head of planning for the project's backers Criterion Capital told the paper: "If it's exciting and novel, people will want to stay there.

"Whether you stay in a penthouse overlooking the city or in a windowless room, people come to London to get out and about. Not to spend all their time in the hotel."

Planning Inspector David Prentis, who upheld the appeal, agreed that it was a question of choice: "Visitors to London have a wide choice of hotel accommodation.

"Perhaps some would choose not to sleep in an underground room. However, others may well decide that the benefits of a highly accessible location, close to numerous visitor attractions, would outweigh the absence of a window."

Plans for London's ‘first underground hotel' rejected by council >>

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