THE development of a business class hotel in Basing View would leave an ‘unlevel playing field for existing hotel businesses’, according to hoteliers.

As previously reported in The Gazette, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (BDBC) and Village Hotels have signed the paperwork to bring a multi-million pound 153-room business class hotel to Basingstoke.

However, the issue is currently under judicial review, which is still to be heard.

Now, other hoteliers in the area have criticised BDBC for going ahead with the deal, saying their concerns had fallen on deaf ears.

Peter Bartlett, chair of the North Hampshire Hoteliers Association said the deal is not in the best interests of existing businesses.

Mr Bartlett said: “Various members of the North Hampshire Hoteliers Association made representation of objections at the cabinet meeting where the scheme was presented.

“Our representations fell on deaf ears. There had been no communication or consultation with existing hoteliers and subsequent attempts to engage with the council took until July 2017 to materialise into a meeting with councillor [John] Izett and Kate Dean [BDBC strategic project manager].”

“We support positive development.

Our opposition to this development is because the market does not support the size and scope of the hotel or leisure facilities and the business case is only viable to the developer because of the beneficial terms that create an anti-competitive situation.

“We believe that it will be damaging to the area because of the impact on the sports centre as well as creating an unlevel playing field for existing hotel businesses.”

However, the council says the addition of the new hotel is vital to the regeneration of Basing View and will bring more than 100 new jobs.

Cllr Izett, cabinet member for property and development, said the decision to sign over the land to Village Hotels came after calls from business for more leisure facilities in the area.

Cllr Izett said: “The feedback from these businesses has been overwhelmingly positive as the Village Hotel will provide a much-needed business class facility that will be convenient for many of our residents working and living near the town centre and, along with the new John Lewis and Waitrose, will extend choice and activities outside office hours.

“Village Hotels considers that there is a demand for a business class hotel at Basing View with restaurant, café, gym and meeting rooms, and so is prepared to invest £20 million in the scheme. We share this conviction and also believe that hotels elsewhere in the borough will continue to thrive.”

If planning permission is granted, the hotel is expected to open in 2020.