Skillcrown, a property development company, has unveiled plans for a new 90-bedroom hotel in Dartford, Kent, to the southeast of London, raising concerns among local residents and officials about its suitability for the proposed location.

The development proposal includes the construction of the hotel and 40 flats on the site formerly occupied by the EC Bate motorbike dealership, which ceased operations in 2019.

While the plans have been presented to local councillors, the developers have not yet submitted a formal planning application.

Finding the Ideal location for new hotel

This leaves room for potential alterations to the proposed project, as acknowledged by Councillor Drew Swinerd, who represents the local area. Swinerd expressed scepticism about the suitability of a hotel on West Hill, stating:

“They haven’t yet submitted an application yet, so that might turn out to be different to what they have proposed. But I am quite sceptical that a hotel in West Hill is appropriate when the town centre seems like a more obvious location for such a development.”

The proposed location has also sparked a debate among residents and local officials, with some arguing that Dartford’s town centre would be more suitable, given its accessibility and potential to attract a larger number of visitors. They believe that a hotel in the town centre would contribute to the vibrancy and economic growth of Dartford.

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By GlobalData

The vacant land in West Hill has been awaiting redevelopment since the closure of the dealership in 2019. Skillcrown now sees it as an opportunity to contribute to Dartford’s evolving landscape.

Economic prospects versus concerns of congestion and noise

The proposed 90-room hotel aims to cater to the rising demand for visitor accommodation in Dartford. The inclusion of 40 flats in the development also addresses the town’s need for affordable housing.

As the proposal continues to evolve, with the developers expected to submit a formal planning application, local authorities and residents continue to assess the potential impact of the hotel on West Hill.

The debate will focus on striking a balance between the economic benefits of a new hotel and the concerns regarding the suitability of the chosen location.

The final decision regarding the hotel’s construction and its location will ultimately rest with the local authority. It will weigh the opinions of the community, the potential economic benefits and the long-term development plans for Dartford.