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

18 January 2016 by
Plans for London's ‘first underground hotel' rejected by council

The 166-bedroom venue, set to be named LDN and sit 50 feet (15.2 metres) below ground, had been requested by Criterion Capital, who had applied to convert the levels minus 4 and 5 of a former NCP car park below the city's Great Russell Street, according to the planning application.

The property was intended to be a Japanese-style "pod" hotel that would provide a budget option for tourists and business travellers, who would not be able to book more than three consecutive nights. The application continued: "http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/plan-for-londons-first-underground-hotel-rejected-a3157586.html" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">the hotel would fill] a gap in the market for simple, 'essential service' with eco-friendly hotel accommodation. The hotel is a design led contemporary experience offering value for money and always exceeding guest expectations."
The plans did not include windows, a bar or restaurant, but showed that the hotel would have a ground floor concierge desk, street-level bike parking, and 17 wheelchair-accessible rooms.

At a council meeting yesterday, reported the [Evening Standard, thanks to concerns from Camden Council about the safety for guests in staying so far below ground, especially in an area where air quality may not be at optimum levels. This was despite the council's acknowledgement that the operation would create 24 new jobs.

The application also listed concerns from local residents, including the loss of car parking, too-high a congregation of people in one space, running the risk of having too many hotels in one area, too much noise, vibration and dust, and setting a precedence for other similar developments. One resident petition also showed objection to the hotel's possible encouragement of the "night time community", thanks to its 365-day/24-hour operation.

Speaking about the decision, councillor Stephen Stark stated: "With no windows in the rooms, it's not a zero-star rating for the hotel but probably minus five stars."

The upper floor of the building in question is already home to the existing St. Giles hotel.

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