Hotel plan in the pipeline on Hunstanton seafront

Hotel plan in the pipeline on Hunstanton seafront
The hotel would be built on the gravel car park opposite Tesco

A well-known economy hotel chain is “committed” to opening a brand new 80-bed hotel in Hunstanton.

If approved by public consultation, the hotel would be built on the gravel car park beside the Honeystone pub, opposite Tesco.

Cabinet Member for Project Delivery Cllr. Peter Gidney said in a report last month: "We are exploring the possibility of an 80-bed hotel in Hunstanton with a major company in the hospitality industry, this will link with the Hemingway Design proposals to come forward for public consultation, hopefully soon."

Following this report, we invited Cabinet Member for Business Development Cllr. Graham Middleton for an interview to clarify and provide more details. He says:

“We’re at the final stages of negotiating where we’re at and how we can do it, [but] there’s a lot of ironing out needed. The hotel provider is committed too.”

Graham states that their three options at the moment are: the Borough council will build it and lease it out, or they ground rent and the provider build it, or the provider will build the hotel but give ownership to the Borough who will then lease it out to them.

“We’re working towards that point; it needs to be built, leased out, and they’re committed to a long lease.”

“What we need to ensure, is that because it is a commercial development, in terms of using taxpayers’ money, we need to make sure that it’s a prudent investment and we get a decent rate of return on that investment,” Graham adds.

Urban design expert Wayne Hemingway of Hemingway Design has been tasked with designing a masterplan for the southern promenade, with Graham assuring us that they are at the stage of finalising designs.

On the link to the Hemingway Design plans, Graham is hopeful that developments such as the hotel will utilise development land in the town. He says:

“Through developments that can happen through this Hemingway Design, there is potential ability to unlock some quite prime pieces of development land doing different things.”

“I think that a budget hotel can be accommodated in Hunstanton and I think that it can be really successful. I think there could be a possibility in the future of a more boutique hotel and spa somewhere within that proximity,” he adds.

On concerns with the viability of an 80-bed hotel in a town that predominantly attracts tourists in the summer, Graham is confident that this will not be too much of an issue, stating:

“The provider we’re working with have identified Hunstanton as an area they feel the concept would work. If you look at similar hotels in coastal towns, they often advertise budget weekends in the winter. So, I think it will be on the provider to create more tourism in the winter.”

“I think part of my role in business development, is asking the question, what can we do in Hunstanton to extend that season? It’s historically March to October; what can you do in the other 5 months? I think the whole economic environment in the town would have to buy into that vision.”

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