A New Premier Inn for Keswick

Revised plans for High Hill

Premier Inn

Frequently Asked Questions

We have provided answers to some frequently asked questions below which you may find helpful. The questions have been separated by theme to make the FAQs easy to navigate. Please click on the header below to expand that section.

Why have you redesigned the hotel building?

Following submission of the planning application in February 2020, we have continued to engage with officers at the Lake Distract National Park Authority (LDNPA) to discuss the plans. As a direct outcome from these discussions, and comments received from stakeholders and the local community, we have made a number of significant improvements to the plans.

Has there been an increase or decrease in rooms?

The number of rooms in the proposed hotel building remain at 71. The new design is now three storeys throughout and the height of the building has been reduced in scale by 0.59 metres on the High Hill frontage and the rear wing has been reduced by 1.42 metres.

What changes have been made to the design proposals?

There have been a number of changes to the proposed design, these include:

  • Lowering the roof ridge height of the front and rear elevation, a reuction by a storey at the rear
  • Reducing the scale of the building to three storeys throughout
  • Significantly re-designing the roof details to lower the height of the building
  • Revising the elevations to reduce the overall scale and ‘mass’ of the building
  • Redesigning the on-site car park to add an additional Wheelchair Accessible space and improving the turning circle for guest vehicles

Further details of the design changes are included within a Design and Access Addendum, which has been submitted to the LDNPA. This can be viewed here.

What materials will be used to build the hotel?

A greater mix of materials have been introduced including sections of Lakeland stone, render, slate and sections of metal seam cladding. Together this would create a warm appearance to the building and use materials that are sympathetic to the local area. The cross section below shows how the proposed mixture of materials will complement the surrounding area.

Cross Section

  1. Lakeland Stone.
  2. Through Colour Render.
  3. Standing Seam Metal Cladding.
  4. Natural Slate Roof Tiles.
Cross Section
What changes have been made to the car park?

We have made some minor alterations to the layout of the car park to increase disabled parking from 3 to 4 spaces and provide additional spaces for vehicles to turn. This addresses comments from Cumbria Council’s Highways Officers. These amendments have resulted in a reduction of on-site car parking provision from 30 spaces to 29 spaces. The increase in Wheelchair Accessible spaces will ensure that all accessible bedrooms are provided with a dedicated car parking space.

The Site Plan included below illustrates the proposed parking and access arrangements.

Where will the hotel customers park?

29 dedicated car parking spaces will be provided for Premier Inn customers. Three motorcycle spaces will also be provided alongside six cycle lockers.

Based on the activities in our other hotels, we expect the maximum demand for parking to be overnight. Our studies demonstrate that overnight parking can be accommodated by our on-site customer car park and local car parks close to the site that are underutilised overnight. Customers of the hotel will be made aware of nearby public car parks at the time of booking their stay.

Evidence from comparable Premier Inn hotels tells us that most team members working at the hotel will live in the local area and will be able to walk or take public transport to work.

Will the proposed hotel lead to an increase of traffic on the surrounding roads?

Our studies estimate that that proposed hotel will generate a total of 153 two-way vehicle movements on a weekday. This is lower that the estimated movements that would have been generated by the 50-bed care home, which was approved on this site in 2014. Further details of these surveys and analysis can be found in the Transport Statement available to view here and addendum Transport Statement available to view here.

Site Plan - click to enlarge

Site Plan - click to enlarge

Is there a risk if flooding on the site?

The site is located within Flood Zone 3, which means that it has a 1 in 100 or greater chance of flooding. Due to this designation the site is not suitable for residential development.

The designation does not apply to hotels and the proposed hotel building has been designed to mitigate any risk of flooding, this includes all bedrooms being located at first floor level or above. The Environment Agency raises no objection to the scheme.

How will the proposed building respond to climate change?

The proposed building has been designed to BREEAM Very Good status and will achieve an 18% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions against current building regulations. The excess of the energy demands will come from on-site renewable sources. Electronic Vehicle Charging Points will also be available in the car park.

What jobs will be offered at the proposed hotel?

Approximately 30 team members are expected to be employed at the Keswick Premier Inn. These will all be permanent positions in a variety of roles. Further details of the types of roles are included below.

How will you recruit for staff? Keswick has a low rate of unemployment.

Recruitment for the Keswick Premier Inn will be focused in Keswick and the surrounding areas. We will work with the Whitehaven Job Centre Plus, where we already have a relationship, to ensure the roles are advertised widely in Keswick and the surrounding areas.

All of the team members will be employed by Whitbread on a permanent basis. A mixture of full and part-time roles will be on offer at the hotel and all team members will benefit from Premier Inn’s on-the-job training and development programmes. Structured apprenticeships will also be available for team members at the hotel. As a business, Premier Inn is especially keen on encouraging anyone not working, in education or training into employment with the company.

What roles will you offer in the hotel?

We expect to recruit a variety of roles including front of house, housekeeping and kitchen roles at the hotel.

The site will be opened by an experienced management team, one of the ways we create opportunities for our existing teams, and in time we will seek to recruit management roles locally too.

Is a Premier Inn suitable for a National Park?

We carry out detailed research and analysis to inform how and where we build new hotels – this is telling us that there is strong demand for the type of accommodation we provide in Keswick.

Our brand is built around good quality, affordable, and consistent accommodation with great service. We occupy one part of the overall hotel and accommodation market.

We’re finding that more and more families and independent travellers are staying with us for leisure and business (whether short stays or longer trips).

Our research tells us that:

  • All of our nearest hotels around the Lake District National Park are trading above or well above our national occupancy average;
  • Approximately 97% of our bookings come via premierinn.com – searches for locations in Keswick and the wider Lake District indicate there is a demand which we are currently not able to meet;
  • The type of branded budget accommodation we provide is not currently available in Keswick – there is a gap for this type of hotel to complement existing B&Bs, guest houses and traditional hotels.

What will a Premier Inn bring to Keswick?

Premier Inn invests into the communities where we operate – we want to contribute to Keswick and its economy.

We provide branded budget accommodation - a part of the overall accommodation market which is not currently represented in Keswick. A new Premier Inn would complement existing independent hotel, guest house and B&B choices and strengthen the overall accommodation offer in the town.

By investing in Keswick, we would deliver a wide range of benefits including:

  • Adding to the mix and choice of overnight accommodation in Keswick and the Lake District National Park – helping to cater for a variety of visitor preferences;
  • Visitors to the Premier Inn will use other local shops, cafés, restaurants and services boosting the overall level of expenditure in the town;
  • Potential for £1.8 million in annual visitor spend in the local economy (as calculated in an economic statement included in the planning application);
  • A new Premier Inn would complement wider work to grow the Lake District National Pak economy.
  • An engaged and locally recruited team
Why are you consulting on the plans again?

We initially consulted on the plans in October 2019 and submitted the planning application in February 2020. As the designs have been revised the LDNPA are required to re-consult on the new plans.

How can I comment on the plans?

You can comment on the plans directly on the LDNPA website. The link to the planning pages of the LDNPA website is here and the planning application reference is 7/2020/2039.

When will a decision be made on a planning application?

We anticipate that the planning application will be decided by the LDNPA Development Control Committee later this year.