PLANS to build an 88-bed hotel in a prime Basingstoke town centre location have been given the green light.

The Travelodge building will replace an existing 1980s office block in Victoria Street, Basingstoke.

The four-storey budget hotel will include a ground floor retail unit or restaurant.

Developers Fishron, which is a joint venture company between T A Fisher and Lamron Estates, gained planning permission for the hotel, and expect building work to start in the spring of 2012, with the new Travelodge opening in mid 2013.

Once open, the hotel and ground floor retail unit will create over 30 full-time and part-time jobs, and it has been calculated that guests will spend upwards of £1million a year in the local economy.

John Fisher, joint managing director of Fishron, said: “We are thrilled to have received planning permission for the construction of what will become a landmark building in the centre of Basingstoke.

“The new scheme will help kick-start development in the New Road area and will help regenerate this part of the town, which has been an aspiration of the council for many years.”

Thirty-seven people wrote to the borough council in support of the application. Five others were against it.

A report prepared by the borough council said the plans were approved because the development will deliver a mixed commercial use that will benefit the local economy, and will result in a “modest” impact on the roads.

Alan Oliver, development manager for Travelodge Hotels, said: “Our customers have been telling us for some time that they want to stay in the heart of Basingstoke, so we are naturally delighted to have secured this excellent location.

“We fully expect this hotel to quickly become one of our top performers in Hampshire.”