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High Court rules for Premier Inn in Lambeth hotel wars

16 July 2010 by

Plans for a new 234-bedroom Premier Inn in London's Lambeth have won the backing of a High Court judge, who rejected a challenge to the planning permission by rival hotel owners.

Galliard Hotels and Marlbray, who own two hotels in the vicinity of the site for the new Premier Inn at the former General Lying-In Hospital, York Road, London SE1, challenged the scheme.

However, one of the country's most senior judges, Mr Justice Nicol, rejected the challenge. His ruling means that GLI York Road can go ahead and build the 234-bedroom hotel, to be run by Whitbread Group as part of its Premier Inn chain.

Galliard and Marlbray had argued that the London Borough of Lambeth wrongly accepted a proposal for dealing with coach and taxi traffic at the new hotel that was not suitable.

They claimed that a suitable coach and taxi drop-off strategy was a necessary condition of the permission granted by the Council in June 2009. However, they argued that the solution later put forward for taxi and coach parking - a pick-up point on a neighbouring landowner's site to the rear of the hotel - was "substandard".

But the judge ruled that the challenge could not succeed.

"It does not help the claimant's case to characterise the strategy as ‘substandard'," he said. "Whether to approve it or not was a matter for Lambeth's planning judgment."

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By Roger Pearson

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