Hotel plan is withdrawn

PUBLISHED: 17:11 19 October 2006 | UPDATED: 11:03 06 May 2010

Protesters Juliette and Jim Struthers with daughter Madeleine Palmer who lives next to the mill

Protesters Juliette and Jim Struthers with daughter Madeleine Palmer who lives next to the mill

CAMPAIGNERS against a £7.5m hotel planned by TV star Neil Morrissey are celebrating a cautious victory after the planning application was withdrawn. Residents of Astwick, near Stotfold, were opposed to the proposed hotel at Bowmans Mill, fearing the impac

CAMPAIGNERS against a £7.5m hotel planned by TV star Neil Morrissey are celebrating a cautious victory after the planning application was withdrawn.

Residents of Astwick, near Stotfold, were opposed to the proposed hotel at Bowmans Mill, fearing the impact it would have on the tiny hamlet.

Madeleine Palmer, who lives on Astwick Bury farm next to the mill, said the decision by Mr Morrissey and business partner Matt Roberts to withdraw the plans meant the campaigners had "won the first round".

But she added: "I'm certain they're still working on it. We're right back at the beginning basically.

"At the moment we've got Matt's half sister living in the house so there's a lot of comings and goings, which worries us.

"We're just sitting and waiting."

Men Behaving Badly star Mr Morrissey and Mr Roberts had applied to convert the mill and nearby Mill House into a 24-suite hotel with a 100-seater restaurant, a spa and fitness centre.

They also wanted to erect two blocks of single storey accommodation and service areas.

According to Mrs Palmer, planning officers at Mid Beds District Council had told the pair they would recommend the applications should be rejected as they had concerns over parking and the impact on two cottages very near the buildings.

Mrs Palmer said that Astwick residents accepted that something needed to be done about the mill but would like to see studio apartments rather than a hotel.

She added: "If you get people like Neil Morrissey they don't understand the countryside at all, they'll destroy everything with the noise.

"We just hope that we can stop them all the way."

A spokesman for Hurst House, the company run by Mr Morrissey and Mr Roberts, said they had withdrawn the application before it went out of time.

She added: "They will be resubmitting with agreed amendments later in the autumn.


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