Rickmansworth’s only hotel - which is under threat from developers is protected by 'local listing'.

The Long Island hotel, which sits in a prominent location facing Rickmansworth station, has twice been the subject of applications from a developer to demolish it and build flats in its place.

While locally listing cannot protect the hotel from potential future development, it is a factor that both the developer and the planning committee must take into consideration when determining an application.

Residents and Conservative councillors David Sansom and Paula Hiscocks initially sought to have the building locally listed in November 2012.

However, they were told by officers the building did not meet the criteria to be added to the borough’s 350 locally listed buildings.

As interest from the developer continued, residents formed the Save Long Island group and collected 850 signatures on a petition asking Three Rivers District Council to protect the hotel.

The petition was presented to the council’s planning committee last month prior to a meeting where councillors considered and refused a second application from developers Kier Homes.

Immediately after the refusal, Lib Dem council leader Councillor Ann Shaw asked officers to re-consider their decision not to locally list the hotel.

Officers subsequently contacted outside experts who recommended that the building should be locally listed.

At the extraordinary executive meeting on Monday night councillors were told privately that the building would be added to the list today.

Councillor Hiscocks said: "I am delighted but also concerned that it took so much to do this.

"It took a petition from residents and a lot of people to turn up at the planning committee to get the decision we asked for.

"We went to the chief executive and prepared a long report and it was totally ignored, I was representing my residents then because I knew what people wanted and what was best for the town.

"Originally the leaders of the council and the chief exec told us point blank it was never going to be listed and listing it would make no difference at all.

"We don’t want Rickmansworth to be a load of copies of the Comet building, it [Long Island Hotel] is a heritage site and we do not have many left so we don’t want pull down the buildings we have.

The hotel, originally known as the Victoria Hotel, was built in 1886 and is believed to pre-date the station it stands opposite.