By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter
A South Bank hotel will more than double in size after councillors approved a 14-storey extension, despite throwing out similar-sized plans in 2017.
Officials waved through proposals from the owners of Waterloo Hub Hotel in Kennington Road to add 193 rooms to the complex.
Councillors previously blocked plans by the hotel’s former owners to build a 13-storey extension five years ago. At the time officials said they were concerned about the impact on neighbours of the new building.
But councillors approved fresh proposals to increase the size of the hotel after the location of the new tower block was adjusted so that it didn’t obstruct nearby residents’ views.
Sheetal Kapoor, chief executive of Palm Holdings, the hotel’s owner, said the company had consulted neighbours extensively while devising the new plans.
Speaking at a Lambeth council planning committee meeting on Tuesday, he said: “The application before you today is the result of almost three years of hard and detailed work even with the complications that have occurred with the pandemic.
“Our proposals make the best of this key site, reinstating the original building line, and has been carefully designed to respond to and respect our neighbours.”
Jesse Beardsworth, a resident who spoke against the previous plans in 2017, said the owner’s decision not to bulldoze the hotel building would reduce the impact of construction work on locals.
He said: “I’m a supporter of this proposal. Retaining the current building from a selfish perspective it’s great for local residents. It will really reduce the impact of the demolition. The sustainability is also great.
“The tower of the building is being located in the appropriate spot. It’s being located in the commercial intersection as opposed to being pushed right up against Colwyn House.
“Mostly I’m supportive because of the open and honest dialogue with the residents surrounding the site which there wasn’t with the previous applicants.”
The hotel, which currently has 162 rooms, will more than double in size to 355 rooms with the extension. A new restaurant, bar, cafe, gym and meeting room will also be added to the hotel.
Pictured top: CGI of hotel extension as seen from Lambeth Road (Picture: Lambeth council planning documents)