Berwick hoteliers raise parking concerns over plan for former bank

Plans to convert a former bank into holiday lets in Berwick town centre have been met with objections from neighbouring hoteliers.

Thursday, 9th June 2022, 10:47 am
Updated Thursday, 9th June 2022, 11:41 am

An application to redevelop the three-storey former TSB building in Hide Hill into five holiday properties has been submitted by Derek Campbell of D Campbell Holdings.

But the nearby Kings Arms Hotel and Queens Head Hotel are opposed to the plans, and both have raised parking concerns.

Baljit Dulai of the Kings Arms said: “The site presently has some tiny potential for car parking at the rear but the proposal takes even this away, leaving the development with no car parking whatsoever.

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The former TSB bank on Hide Hill, Berwick.

"Hide Hill has restricted parking [both in terms of space and time], the side streets are also yellow lined and even the long stay car parks are time limited. Most, if not all of the holiday visitors will come by car and there will need to be cleaners and maintenance people. Hide Hill simply cannot accommodate all this.”

He also called for conditions to be imposed to prevent the lower floors being ‘turned into something like a nightclub’.

He added: "Holiday accommodation would be bad enough, but the owner is in the licensed trade and has other premises including Limoncello on Hide Hill.

“I fear he intends to turn the building or part of it into a nightclub or similar, which would be disastrous for my hotel.”

Ranjot Kaur from the Queen Head told the Advertiser: “This proposal would attract short-term visitors with cars. My hotel has no car parking and car parking availability is very limited, especially since the new Premier Inn means that the Quayside car park is pretty well always full.”

It is planned to create a pair of two-bedroom units on the ground floor, a three-bed unit on both the first floor and second floors and a two-bed unit on the third floor.

A planning report on the applicant’s behalf states: ‘The building closed down as a bank in late 2020 and has since been bought in order to convert the building into holiday lets.

‘The applicant has realised the potential value of the building to visiting people and to the local area and proposes to restore the buildings.

‘Due to the current condition and lack of many elements of noteworthy heritage qualities within the disused areas, the proposal adopts the dual benefit of ‘retaining and upgrading’ an existing an asset to Berwick, securing its future for further generations.’

Northumberland County Council’s highways department has requested further information, noting: ‘If each of the floors were to be let out as separate holiday lets with maximum occupancy, this could result in parking on the public highway to the detriment of highway safety if visitors were to arrive by car and town centre car parks were full.’

There has been no objection by the conservation officer, while Berwick Civic Society has offered its broad support but called for design issues to be carefully considered.

“Five new holiday lets could easily result in the need to park up to five cars (if not more) in or near this already crowded street,” notes chairman Brian Gowthorpe.

“It might be more practical to consider alleviating this problem by the provision of one or more off-street parking spaces instead of two unsatisfactory gardens.”

Berwick Town Council made no objection.