Confusion about new hotel

2009-11-12 00:00

THERE is confusion about the type of hotel that is to be developed at the corner of Hesketh Drive and New England Road. This emerged after the city council’s economic development and planning committee recommended the re-zoning of the property for the hotel.

The re-zoning papers provided for a 90-bed hotel, but residents who have seen the original plan say that it is going to be a 90-room hotel. This is far bigger than the council was led to believe and will have implications for the surrounding environment.

Residents who opposed the hotel came around when they heard the hotel was to be a City Lodge. However, their inquiries revealed that the hotel is going to be a more downmarket “Road Lodge” — a one-star budget hotel.

The Pietermaritzburg Mpushini Mkondeni Development Trust (PMMT), who raised objections in the enviromental assessment process because of the loss of open space, made inquiries with the City Lodge group. The trust was told the hotel will have 90 bedrooms, 63 with double beds and 27 with twin single beds and a sleeper couch. The hotel will accordingly cater for 250 patrons and not 90. It is also going to be a “Road Lodge” rather than an upmarket City Lodge.

The Witness sent an e-mail to the City Lodge Group to verify this, but no response was received at the time of going to press.

Similarly, attempts to get hold of Marcel Henry, a director of New Ground who are the developers on the project, were unsuccessful.

At the recent Msunduzi Innovation and Development Initiative strategic summit, delegates agreed that Pietermaritzburg, as a capital city, should have a more upmarket hotels.



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