‘Control needed on new hotels’

Lionel Chatard

Lionel Chatard

First published in Business news
Last updated
York Press: Photograph of the Author by , mark.stead@thepress.co.uk

NEW hotels in York should have been blocked until a study into whether they were needed was produced, claimed the head of a hoteliers’ group.

Lionel Chatard, Middlethorpe Hall Hotel director and general manager and chairman of York Hoteliers Association, said he was disappointed with delays to creating a hotel strategy for the city and with the council’s decision to approve selling the Reynard’s Garage site in Piccadilly.

City of York Council leader James Alexander said this week that the city’s hotel strategy, which was first mooted more than two years ago, should be completed by March, but a fresh approach to York’s tourism sector must be in place first.

The authority approved selling the Reynard’s site – formerly home to 1930s aircraft manufacturer Airspeed Ltd – to one of four developers, who have all included a hotel in their plans.

This scuppered the Yorkshire Air Museum’s plans for a new visitor attraction celebrating Airspeed on part of the site, and was criticised by York’s former heritage champion Coun Dave Taylor.

Mr Chatard said the Airspeed attraction could have had similar appeal to the Jorvik Centre and would have been “unique and welcome”.

Hotel schemes recently approved include ones at St Leonard’s Place, Paragon Street, Walmgate and Layerthorpe. Mr Chatard said: “We were promised a strategy two years ago, and it is upsetting that while it is being worked on, applications for new hotels keep being approved.

“Seeing such willingness from the council to approve these developments is worrying, and we felt a moratorium on new hotels until the strategy is ready would have been fair. Hoteliers are not worried about competing, but the situation is just too much and it needs to be controlled.”

Kate McMullen, head of Visit York, said it welcomed investment in hotels, particularly those which helped to promote “something special and different”.

She said: “There is a need for a long-term assessment of accommodation requirements and a clear strategy is needed for the industry and the city. To continue to drive tourism’s economic impact, we must continually improve our total accommodation offer, ensuring visitors have a varied choice.”

Coun Alexander said the hotel strategy had been needed for some time, but could not be completed before York’s tourism shake-up and an assessment of the sector’s “appetite for growth”.

Comments (4)

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11:32am Sat 11 Jan 14

Overproof says...

Hotelier calls for no new hotels.

Give me a break !
Hotelier calls for no new hotels. Give me a break ! Overproof
  • Score: 1

6:11pm Sat 11 Jan 14

Alf Garnett says...

Wait a minute, let me get this right; a businessman calling for regulation of the market ? Perhaps the revolution is beginning at long last. Yesterday we had Monsieur Farage saying that there were more important things than growth. What tomorrow I wonder.
Wait a minute, let me get this right; a businessman calling for regulation of the market ? Perhaps the revolution is beginning at long last. Yesterday we had Monsieur Farage saying that there were more important things than growth. What tomorrow I wonder. Alf Garnett
  • Score: 4

9:55am Sun 12 Jan 14

powerwatt says...

Alf Garnett wrote:
Wait a minute, let me get this right; a businessman calling for regulation of the market ? Perhaps the revolution is beginning at long last. Yesterday we had Monsieur Farage saying that there were more important things than growth. What tomorrow I wonder.
It is calling for a strategy. Following the council rejecting some hotels and accepting ones that will help them.

Hence the strategy.
[quote][p][bold]Alf Garnett[/bold] wrote: Wait a minute, let me get this right; a businessman calling for regulation of the market ? Perhaps the revolution is beginning at long last. Yesterday we had Monsieur Farage saying that there were more important things than growth. What tomorrow I wonder.[/p][/quote]It is calling for a strategy. Following the council rejecting some hotels and accepting ones that will help them. Hence the strategy. powerwatt
  • Score: 0

6:42pm Sun 12 Jan 14

Dave Taylor says...

Hoteliers have been saying for over a year that the market is saturated. I know two guest house owners who have given up the ghost saying they couldn't make a living. On top of the existing hotels, there are permissions approved for the Barbican site, as well as the four that Lionel Chatard mentions in the article which have not yet happened. So why is the Council desperate for another hotel on Piccadilly, instead of a visitor attraction and some flats? Visit York seems to have lost the plot too - a toothless tiger compared to what it used to be. Even Welcome To Yorkshire spoke up for the Airspeed Museum project...
Hoteliers have been saying for over a year that the market is saturated. I know two guest house owners who have given up the ghost saying they couldn't make a living. On top of the existing hotels, there are permissions approved for the Barbican site, as well as the four that Lionel Chatard mentions in the article which have not yet happened. So why is the Council desperate for another hotel on Piccadilly, instead of a visitor attraction and some flats? Visit York seems to have lost the plot too - a toothless tiger compared to what it used to be. Even Welcome To Yorkshire spoke up for the Airspeed Museum project... Dave Taylor
  • Score: 6

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