District planners have rejected proposed changes to the design of the Premier Inn at Bircherley Green.
Planning permission for the Bircherley Green redevelopment was granted in 2016 and demolition work started in Summer 2018.
A "non material minor amendment" was submitted to East Herts Council in the Autumn, featuring a modified roofline and redesigned hotel entrance.
In their submission, owners Diageo Pension Trust said: "minor design revisions are necessary to ensure compliance with the hotel operator’s technical requirements, to respond to the site conditons as have been established during demoliton and to improve accessibility. Additonally, in consultaton with the main contractor, design revisions have been introduced to address buildability, sequencing and to improve overall viability."
However, planners commented that the proposed amendments were materially different from the original planning permission granted and therefore not a "non material minor amendment".
In a statement to stakeholders. John McHale of developers Wrenbridge said: "We had hoped to make changes to the design. These are not acceptable to East Herts and, therefore, we need to reconsider the delivery strategy. I will not be in a position to provide any greater clarity than provided in this email for a couple of weeks but rest assured we will be doing all we can to find the best strategy for the delivery of the project."
The design changes for the hotel are separate from other changes to the shopping centre that Diageo and Wrenbridge have applied for.
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