What happened to local decision making with the Ivy House Hotel sale
I was saddened to read the Ivy House has been purchased by Marlborough College and will become a girls’ boarding house. Despite the application being rejected by both Wiltshire Council and Marlborough town council the planning appeal inspector agreed that it could have change of use.
The hotel was never developed to its full potential and was clearly purchased for a short term gain, and hence was never full, so this argument was not a strong point and the risk you take in business. Had it become a boutique hotel with a good restaurant it would have been a major player in the town.
The college girls would have still spent their money in the town and the college employ more staff, wherever the dormitory was to be built, so these points were rather irrelevant.
There is great pressure on preserving high streets, and the visitors who stayed at the hotel spent far more than the college girls ever will. What concerns me is that this has all gone against the new Government planning policy of helping towns like Marlborough to survive and develop to have a flourishing high street for the town and the surrounding community as a whole.
What with the Tesco store opening out of town we do have the danger looming of becoming a dormitory town!
It is vital we preserve our great market town and it is now time to have a clear vision on where we go from here. The new national planning policy is aimed at giving the local community more influence in the future planning of their town, and this has clearly been ignored by the inspector.