Plans committee members vote unanimously to refuse £3million village square proposal

Outline plans for a £3million hotel in the centre of Westward Ho! have been rejected unanimously by Torridge District Council's plans committee.

Members were advised to approve the plans for the 'WHotel' on land allocated as the village square in Golf Links Road, which would have included 15 rooms and a restaurant.

But, despite only being asked to agree to the principle of building a hotel on the site, members unanimously agreed that the site would not be suitable due to its size and proposed lack of car parking.

It was suggested that the developer would buy five parking spaces from TDC's car park across the road - a plan which members did not feel was fair.

The development would have also meant moving the double bus stop further down the road, which members felt would have an adverse effect on local café businesses.

Cllr Jane Whittaker admitted that applicant Westward Living and agent Alan Smith had done a good job on the neighbouring Latitude 51 apartment block, but said it would be 'grossly unfair' on nearby businesses.

Ward member Cllr Roger Tisdale said he was in favour as the village needs a 'quality hotel', a point also picked up on by Cllr Margaret Brown.

"Westward Ho! has suffered in recent years and we have to get this right," she said. "But here it feels like we are trying to put a pint into a half pint pot."

Members voted to refuse the plans on the grounds that the hotel would not improve the tourism character of Westward Ho! and would have an impact on local parking.