Fears over new visitor centre at town’s big hotel

Swan Hotel, Southwold.PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Swan Hotel, Southwold.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A community has raised concerns over a coastal hotel's plans for expansion, which would include the installation of a new visitor centre.

Swan Hotel, Southwold.PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Swan Hotel, Southwold.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Run by Adnams brewery, the Swan Hotel - situated in Southwold Market Place - submitted plans to Waveney District Council on October 5 which would see the creation of new bedroom suites, a bar extension and conversion of the Cygnet building into a visitor centre.

Residents of Southwold have voiced fears against the proposed refurbishments and expansion.

John Perkins, chairman of the Southwold and Reydon Society, said: 'A lot of people are upset, especially in Victoria Street as they are worried about an increase in traffic near to their homes.

'However on balance, we think it is sensible as the current entrance to the Swan, in the town centre, is narrow and dangerous but also we are aware people in Victoria Street are worried about car parking and lighting being on for long hours.

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'Obviously we will keep a close eye on this as locals are concerned, but this can be resolved easily by a responsible developer.'

Marketing director at Adnams, Emma Hibbert, said: 'The current access to parking, garden rooms and the Cygnet building is through the carriage entrance from Market Place.

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'This access point is narrow with very limited visibility for cars creating potential hazards between cars and pedestrians.

'The proposal is for the carriage entrance to become exclusively pedestrian access and to relocate the entry/exit point to be off Victoria Street.

'Extensive discussions have taken place with Suffolk's Highways department to arrive at a satisfactory solution to maximise visibility splays for cars exiting onto Victoria Street.'

Currently the application is 'pending consideration' from WDC but a deadline has been set for the end November 2016 as to whether permission will be granted.

Have you got a Southwold story? Email simon.ward@archant.co.uk

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