A CONTROVERSIAL bid to build an 80-bed hotel in the middle of Bridgwater would lead to car parking chaos in the town centre, opponents have claimed.

Developer DC Homes says the plan for the vacant unit next to the Aldi supermarket in Eastover would remove an eyesore from the town, create new jobs and boost the centre of Bridgwater.

However, Robert Walker, owner of the White Hart Hotel which neighbours the site, said it would be a 'disaster' for his business if the hotel opened and would lead to severe parking problems.

He said: “It would be direct competition for us but I don't see how the council can allow it to happen.

“There is very little parking around the area and the idea of putting a big hotel like this in the middle of town just doesn't work. It would be a disaster.”

Previous schemes for the site, which has been vacant for more than a decade, have included a care home, a bowling alley and accommodation.

The proposed development would involved the demolition of the existing buildings at 56-66 Eastover to be replaced by a hotel with a bar, restaurant and parking for 13 vehicles.

In its application to Sedgemoor District Council, DC Homes said: “Vehicle access to the hotel is proposed from Eastover and a travel plan has been produced. The area is accessible by alternative modes of transport, with excellent pedestrian access.

“The economic impact of the hotel would be a positive one as guests would use local facilities in Bridgwater.”

A consultation period on the scheme is now under way and a decision will be made by planning bosses at the council later this year.

To view the plans in detail, vist the related link below and enter reference 08/12/00050.