Residents and business owners are pushing Camden Council to reject new plans for a basement hotel in Great Russell Street because of the harm it would cause to the local environment.
Criterion Capital who own a number of sites in central London including the Trocadero fun house want to convert a basement car park which is four and five floors underground into a windowless 166-room hotel.
Similar plans by Criterion for a bunker lodge have previously been rejected but Camden will now make a decision on the revised proposals this autumn.
The Bloomsbury Association is urging Camden to reject the plans because the site has an existing hotel and adding more rooms on the site would be an over concentration of a single use, leading to increased disturbance from servicing and people arriving at all hours of the day. Local landowner the Bedford Estate has also written to Camden to express similar concerns.
Owners of the St Giles Hotel have joined opposition to the plans, too. In a letter to Camden they state: “The building currently has 700 plus hotel guest bedrooms, 4 restaurants, 3 levels below ground of the YMCA Leisure centre consisting of a membership in the excess of 4000 members, by installing 166 extra bedrooms would over saturate the building.”
But what other use could an underground car park provide? One resident told Fitzrovia News that it would be an ideal studio for an architecture practice like Ken Shuttleworth’s Make who recently moved into new premises which used to be a basement car park. Best place for them.
Planning application: 2015/3605/P, 112A Great Russell Street London WC1B 3NP. Change of use of part ground floor and basement levels -4 and -5 from Car Park (sui generis) to 166 bedroom hotel (Class C1), including alterations to ground floor elevations on Great Russell Street and Adeline Place.