Expanse voices concern over Premier Inn

Mr Wilks: Beaconsfield Car Park is the third busiest in Bridlington
Mr Wilks: Beaconsfield Car Park is the third busiest in Bridlington

A hotel owner has voiced his concern over plans to build a large 80-bedroom hotel on Bridlington’s “third busiest car park”.

Neil Wilks who runs the Expanse Hotel on North Marine Drive, said the council’s plan to sell Beaconsfield Car Park to Premier Inn would be “close to catastrophic for Bridlington.”

He said: “As someone in the hotel business I have fought for a large conference hotel near the Spa for 40 years. The town needs it.

“The proposed Premier Inn site will not help conferences at all. It will almost certainly prevent a large conference hotel ever being built near the Spa.”

Premier Inn have confirmed they are in talks with the council with plans to build an 80-bedroom hotel on the site, complete with a Brewers Fayre restaurant and pub. But the news has angered Bridlington’s tourism industry, with guest house and hotel owners hitting out at the council because they believe a Premier Inn would be “detrimental to many current small businesses” and make parking problems even worse.

Last week Bridlington Tourism Association slammed the plans, saying the development would “exacerbate the parking problem within the town.”

Mr Wilks bolstered the Association’s concern, arguing the completion of the new Leisure Centre in 2016 will also cause “far more parking need than already exists.”

“So why was the third busiest car park in Bridlington declared surplus? Because it is anything but” added Mr Wilks.

“The Beaconsfield Car Park is the third most utilised in Bridlington.

“It serves both day visitors and guests of nearby hotels. To close it would be catastophic for Bridlington.”

However the Council’s Alan Menzies said he “strongly refutes” the claim made by the Bridlington Tourism Association.

He said: “The issue of car parking was taken into consideration when looking at the Beaconsfield car park site. The council monitors, on an ongoing basis, the occupancy levels of its car parks and the view was taken that the current number of users could be reasonably relocated to other car parks in the town.”

Mr Menzies also said Bridlington’s Coach Park on Hilderthorpe Road will also be up for sale in future, with plans to relocate coach parking to elsewhere in Bridlington.

Premier Inn is yet to submit a planning application to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council.