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Over the border: Parish Council opposes plan to create more rooms for asylum seekers

News / Sun 28th Jan 2024 at 08:33am

PLANS to create an additional 18 rooms at the Phoenix Hotel on the A414 near North Weald – which is currently being used to accommodate asylum seekers – are being opposed by North Weald Bassett Parish Council on the grounds of road safety.

Councillors are concerned about the safety of the families living at the hotel who have to walk along the grass verge and stand on the roadside when waiting for public transport.

The parish council is to support the objections sent to Epping Forest District Council by Moreton, Bobbingworth and The Lavers Parish Council within whose boundaries the hotel is located.

A planning application seeks planning consent to add dormers and rooflights to provide 18 further rooms for “short-term accommodation with people staying for limited periods of time”.

The former Travelodge building is currently being used to provide accommodation for families.

The proposal is described in a covering letter submitted with the application as “an effective use of the space within the pre-existing roof profile”.

Eight new dormers are proposed for the front elevation and eight on the rear elevation with 14 Velux windows on each of the front and rear elevations. There would also be an extension to the stair cores at either end of the building.

The application document states: “Each new room will have the space provided by the dormer extensions (with the exception of one of the rooms) and all rooms are all based on providing a double bed and en-suite.

The proposals would increase the number of rooms from 60 to 78. 

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