Biggleswade hotel revamp on the cards says pub chain

Crown Hotel

Crown Hotel - Credit: Archant

Concerns about the future of the former Crown Hotel in Biggleswade should soon be allayed as its new owner says it will begin a refit soon.

The former Greene King owned hotel on High Street closed in 2013 before being bought by Wetherspoon.

The firm was given planning permission to revamp the pub and hotel rooms in February 2015, with the condition it had three years to carry out the development.

Since then no work has been done on site and some residents and councillors have expressed concern that the historic building will be left to deteriorate.

Central Bedforshire councillor for the Biggleswade South ward, David Lawrence said: “It’s disappointing they haven’t made any progress.

“The value of having a 12 bedroom hotel in the middle of town is still there.

“It definitely needed refurbishing. The town has enough outlets selling beer but hotel rooms would be useful.”

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Michael North, the town’s deputy mayor, added: “It’s an old historic building in the middle of town and a lot of people want to see it re-open.

“We want to see something done with it so it’s open and used, otherwise the fear is that it turns into a derelict building.”

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gersshon said: “We are committed to opening a pub and hotel in Biggleswade.

“We have planning and licensing permission, however, at this stage, we are working on aspects of the overall development before we go on site.

“We are going to spend £2 million on the pub and 12 bedroom hotel and can assure people in the town that the project will go ahead.

“We believe the pub and hotel will be a great asset to the town and also act as a catalyst for other businesses to open in the area.”

It’s not the first time the historic inn has sparked controversy.

In 1785 it was the place where the so-called ‘great fire’ of Biggleswade started.

It destroyed a third of the town and left 332 people homeless.

It was rebuilt and reopened as a coaching inn some years later.

A previous planning scheme championed by Sandy resident Ken Lynch aimed to transform the pub into a refugee home.