Premier Inn paid £1million to transform one of Bridlington’s busiest car parks into a hotel, the Free Press can reveal.
Beaconsfield car park was sold by East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the company now plans to construct an 82-bedroom hotel at the site.
The car park made around £104,000 annually through ticket sales, meaning the council could recoup the money they sold the land for within 10 years.
Now hoteliers and businesspeople have questioned the council’s decision claiming it will affect Bridlington’s future tourism. Helen Gallagher, guest house owner, said: “A low estimate of there being two people in each car would mean 90,400 people coming to Bridlington.
“If those people spent £10 each in the town then that would result in £904,000 being spent in the town. In addition to ticket sales, this could amount to more than the financial sale of the land.
“Selling Beaconsfield for £1 million is the great Bridlington giveaway. I can’t believe the council would sell the land that cheap and in my eyes it should have gone to tender.”
The council gave Premier Inn the right of first refusal to buy the site in September 2015 by way of a Pre-Emption Agreement. The purchase was completed 12 months later for Beaconsfield – the site which had the highest number of vehicles parked for more than two hours in the whole of the East Riding.
It was found that 45,200 vehicles parked in Beaconsfield car park from 2014-15 - an increase of 3,500 from the previous year.
Bob Hillery, president of Bridlington Tourism Association, said: “It is a nonsense move. There is also the money these people are spending in the town to think about.There simply isn’t enough parking in Bridlington. Tourism is Bridlington’s lifeblood and we are now facing less people coming to the town.”
East Riding of Yorkshire Council told the Free Press that the £1million figure was “the capital receipt, and therefore there was no other part to the deal”.
A council spokesman added: “Drivers who would normally use Beaconsfield car park will be relocated to other car parks which have lower sales. They will therefore use other sites and we will still get the money from the ticket sales each year.”