Sevenoaks joins the ‘Inn’ crowd with new flagship hotel
THE keys to a new hotel, that it is claimed will boost the Sevenoaks district economy, were handed over to the new tenant, Premier Inn, recently. The £8m project is the final piece of a three-year plan to bring a major hotel to the Sevenoaks area.
Despite the many tourist attractions in the Sevenoaks area, the town centre has suffered from a shortage of hotel accommodation in recent years although there are still several boutique B&Bs which have catered for visitors.
To better capitalise on the town’s heritage, Sevenoaks District Council decided to build the 83-bedroom hotel opposite Sevenoaks Rail Station on the site of its former Sennocke car park, behind the former pub of the same name which later was renamed The Farmers. But before this could happen, the Council had to turn its nearby Bradbourne car park into a mini multi storey to increase the number of parking spaces in the area.
The council holes their latest project will bring millions of pounds of new investment into the local economy, in particular jobs and the tourism sector, as visitors can spend more time in Sevenoaks supporting local pubs, restaurants and shops. Premier Inn has already created 26 new jobs, 15 of which have gone to individuals who were ‘not in education, employment or training’ (NEETS).
Sevenoaks District Council funded and managed the building of the new hotel and Premier Inn will lease the building for 25 years, providing an income to the Council that will be reinvested in local services.
Cllr Peter Fleming said: “The handover and opening of the new hotel was a proud moment for everyone concerned as nearly three years of planning and building works have come to fruition.
“Tourist attractions and local businesses have been calling for a flagship hotel in Sevenoaks for many years. I believe this £8 million investment will boost the local economy for years to come while at the same time generating important income stream to help us remain financially self-sufficient and protecting the high quality local services that our residents enjoy.”
• November 2015 – Council gives the go ahead to make preparations for the construction of a decked car park on the Bradbourne car park site, freeing up the Sennocke Car park for a new hotel
• 17 June 2016 – Planning permission is granted to deck Bradbourne car park
• 5 August 2016 – Bradbourne car park closes for building works
• 20 October 2016 – Planning permission is approved for the new hotel
• 10 April 2017 – The new, decked Bradbourne car park reopens increasing parking capacity from 168 to 420 spaces
• 10 April 2017 – Sennocke car park closes to allow the construction of a new hotel
• 3 August 2018 – Premier Inn hotel opens