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Fourth application lodged to demolish Long Island Exchange hotel, in Rickmansworth
Another controversial application to demolish Rickmansworth’s only remaining hotel has been submitted to Three Rivers District Council.
Campaigners have fought hard over the past two years to save Long Island Exchange from being knocked down and turned into flats and houses.
Politicians have rejected multiple proposals lodged by applicant Keay Homes - the latest of which was thrown out in March.
Yet the developers have lodged another application with the district council’s planning department to transform the Victoria Close hotel.
Latest plans submitted reveal designs to covert the original Long Island Exchange building in to eight apartments and demolish the existing hotel extension and construct 25 apartments and four houses.
The applicant also wants space for associated access, car parking and amenity space.
The last proposals thrown out by politicians were for 27 flats and four houses.
While the hotel is a locally listed building, it has also been earmarked for housing in the district’s allocation site list - a decision that has caused a lot of tension in the town.
The latest proposals have already received objections from residents, which have been lodged through the council’s planning portal.
Some of the comments received state that the development is not in the "interest" of the town and that the new homes will increase traffic, as well as the strain put on local services such as doctors and schools.
One comment reads: "We strongly oppose this application to convert The Long Island Exchange into residential units.
"It’s important that Rickmansworth retains its only hotel. This development, if approved, would overlook existing, long established residential properties in a conservation area."
Further objections outline the historical and architectural contribution that the hotel adds to Rickmansworth.
This is the fourth application submitted to the council to convert the building.
The saga first began in December 2012 when proposals were thrown out to demolish the hotel and build 87 flats and fiver town houses.
In March last year plans to build 65 residential units and were rejected, as was this March’s application to turn it in to 27 flats and four houses.
Reasons why politicians have thrown out previous plans have been because of the scale of the proposed building, inadequate parking and the increased strain the development would put on local amenities.
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