Sort file:- Dover, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 31 March, 2021.


Spoken of 1993

Henley Lodge

Never built

Camden Crescent and Townwall Street



From the Dover Express 30 December 1993.

Harbour board will own 90 percent of new hotel.

DOVER Harbour Board will own 90 percent of the company that will own a new hotel planned near the seafront, it has been revealed.

The new 60 bedroom budget-style hotel is planned for the site, fronting Townwall Street, where the Dover Stage hotel once stood.

The planning application for the hotel is due to go before district councillors shortly, possibly in February.

The port authority's partner in the project is Henley Lodges, in whose name the planning application is submitted.

Dover Harbour Board officials, commenting on an article in last week's Dover Express, say no part of the planning application involves the construction of a new road cutting through part of the Granville Gardens.

They agree that a small part of the gardens will be required for car parking associated with the hotel.

But a rough plan received by the district council, on public examination, indicates a new road cutting through the gardens.

It is this proposed road which Dover Harbour Board says does not form part of the formal application.

The Dover Society has objected to aspects of the hotel plan, one being that not sufficient detail of the proposal has been submitted to the planning authority.

Answering this criticism Dover Harbour Board says more details plans are being prepared as agreed in a timetable with council officers.


From the Dover Express 14 April 1994.

New Hotel gets an amber light.

25 jobs could be created on seafront site.

DOVER council, out to welcome and keep tourists in the town and district, has given the amber light for a new hotel on a prime site it owns near the seafront.

Councillors voted to approve the scheme in principle and go into negotiations with Dover Harbour Board over the sale of the site, fronting Townwall Street - where the Dover Stage Hotel once stood.

One promise the council will seek in any agreement is that building of the hotel - which could create 25 jobs - goes ahead quickly to catch the tourist trade as Dover faces up to the Channel Tunnel opening and blight caused by the recession.

Said Labour councillor Gwyn Prosser: "It's important we give a clear signal now to developers and others that Dover district is open for business and wants to encourage trade and tourism."

Conservative councillor Kit Smith welcomed the proposal but urged speed on the project.

"We need something very positive and have to acknowledge the economic state Dover is in.


"Hopefully this hotel will become one of the catalysts in the redevelopment of Dover."

The council's policy committee unanimously backed the plea of Lib Dem councillor Cynthia Terry to forge ahead with the scheme.

The hotel, she said, would provide just the kind of accommodation Dover is looking for to attract tourists.

The harbour board will own 90 percent of the proposed new hotel. Its partner in the project is Derbyshire based Henley Lodges, which also operates the Abbot's Barton Hotel in Canterbury.

Last month the council's tourism committee welcomed the proposal, providing it could get a good deal on the site sale.

But the land committee, meeting a week later, said the site should be retained until market values improved and the harbour board's Western Docks development project had been completed.

Councillors, however, felt that would be too long to wait. Dover needs new development now to regenerate the district, they agreed.


From the Dover Express 28 April 1994, by John Mitchell.


Furious attack on council as members say 'no' to major hotel plan. Decision flies in face of tourism strategy, says harbour board.

FURIOUS harbour board chiefs have lashed out at the council accusing it of losing jobs for local people by turning down a chance to bring in tourists.

The amazing attack came after plans to build a 60 bedroom, budget-style hotel near the seafront were turned down.

It was decided the council-owned site earmarked for the two star hotel was being sold off too cheaply.

And there were worries about the design which one councillor labelled 'a disaster'.

A harbour board spokesman hit back: "This decision undermines the tourism and economic development strategy and studies which are being paid for by the council and other groups."

The board had negotiated for more than a year with the council which owns the site of the former Dover State Hotel off Townwall Street - now a car park.

A planning application had been put in by hotel operators Henley Lodges and the development, which could have created 35 jobs, got approval from the council's policy committee.

But by a 26-24 vote, the full council reversed the decision after some councillors said the land was being offered for three times less than the council paid in 1989, though no figure was revealed.

'A disaster'

Other councillors were unhappy about the proposed design. Conservative Councillor John Bragg called it 'hideous and appalling. a disaster'.

But this week harbour board spokesman John Turgoose told the Dover Express the proposal was the type of investment organisations like the East Kent Initiative. Discover East Kent and South East England Tourist Board want to see boosting the district.

"The hotel would have encouraged travellers to stay in the town and visit pubs, shops, restaurants and tourist attractions.

"I regret the council does not wish to support a project which would appear to satisfy its stated objectives, particularly regarding tourism."

The saga of the hotel plan started when the council's tourism committee approved the sale of the site. The land committee was against selling but the policy committee came down in favour.

At the full council, land committee chairman, Independent Councillor Brian Walker, attacked the project. He said the council bought the land in 1989 for more than three times the selling price proposed.

"I will not go along with those in favour of selling this land or this district short," he said.

Liberal Democrat councillor Phil King was also against the sale. The kind of short stay, budget style hotel envisaged wouldn't bring the boost to tourism and the economy the council wants, he said.

But Tory councillors Kit Smith and Paul Watkins were in favour. Councillor Watkins argued: "We've been saying for years we want hotels to come to our area. Now we have a chance to deliver. Coaches have been by-passing Dover and going on to Ashford  because we don't have the hotels to cope with the tourists."

But Councillor Paul SheIdrake, Labour, said he didn't feeI a hotel was right for such an important site. He preferred to see something like a theatre or art gallery, an attraction which would keep people in the town.

But fellow Labour councillor Gwyn Prosser said there is a clear need in Dover for the kind of hotel proposed and a dire need for more jobs in the area.

The council's decision was also attacked by Keith Berry and Les Pennington, directors of Henley Lodges, who put in a planning application for the hotel on behalf of the harbour board.

"Does Dover want jobs?" they asked, after the full council decision to reject the scheme.

They said in a statement: "Contradictory decisions by a variety of council committees give the impression of indecision and confusion.

"Surely the council should stick with its stated objectives by looking for longer term security for the people of Dover."


From the Dover Extra 13 May 1994.

Hideous hotel gets go-ahead.

COUNCILLORS have approved plans for a 60-bedroom hotel near Dover seafront - even though they won't sell the land to build it on.

Members of the planning committee gave the go-ahead for Henley Lodges' application for a five-storey hotel and tourist information office on the site of the former "Dover Stage Hotel" at Camden Crescent which is being used as a temporary car park.

The committee agreed the land could carry on being used as a car, park, at least for another two years. (And still is a car-park 13 years later in 2007).

The Dover Society was in favour of the development, but councillors were not keen on the design which has been described as hideous.

Cllr Jim Hood said: "It is totally out of keeping with the seafront and seems to have a lemon crusher on the roof. This is a high profile site and the shape and everything 'about the hotel is wrong."

Cllr Bryan Cope said he had hoped the companies responsible would have come up with a more in-keeping design. "I am disappointed," he said.

"This hotel will stick out like a sore thumb. Why has it got a flying saucer on the roof?"

Planning officers disagreed and director of planning John Clayton said the proposal should be welcomed in principle and supported.




Never built or opened.


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