The news of the day is that Arora International have been granted planning permission to build a hotel at Kennington Oval. I found out via a public meeting (and a commentator left a comment), but I can't find the official documentation granting permission.
You might remember that I touched on the hotel planning request last year in July 2008 when the proposals to build the hotel at the Oval were called to review by the Health and Safety Commission due to the close proximity of the gasometers. It seems that nearly a year later, the commission must have concluded that the location is indeed safe.
There are various reports. CatererSearch says that it's a 168 bedroom hotel costing £35m and that the chief executive of Surrey Cricket Club considers it will bring "much needed regeneration" to the area.
Bah. I'm getting cynical. I'm sure it will be a lovely hotel for tourists/cricket fans and will hopefully provide local jobs, but regeneration? It's not exactly a Surestart centre! I think I would like £1 for every time somebody uses the word regeneration about this and the Vauxhall area over the next 5 years.
Propertyweek and Planning Resource say the scheme will include a new stand which will increase the total seats at the Oval to 25k.
Well, that's more people to vomit/urinate over the entrance to my flats after their matches... Yes, it did happen! But more seriously, the Three Wheeled One might start keeping a close eye on how the Surrey Cricket Club offer the facility for the use of the local community. We do know that the SCC offer their hall and fund the Kennington Tai Chi Saturday class, which is certainly commendable.
However, additional comments are welcome. I'd be pleased to hear if your sports club or school has use of the Oval facilities or receives funding from them in any way. It would be great to hear how the Kennington Oval benefits local SE11 residents throughout the year.
Edit (10/6/2009): There's more information about how the hotel and additional stands would fit on the current grounds at the Brit Oval site here.
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