An artist's impression of part of the development.
An artist's impression of part of the development.

Plans for a £20m commercial development led by a 102-bedroom hotel at a major arterial route around Newark can be revealed today.

The development — in a triangle of land by Farndon roundabout, between the new and old A46 — includes a Holiday Inn Express, conference and meeting facilities, filling station and convenience store. Also included is a high-specification office park.

It is estimated the project could create at least 400 jobs.

Mr Steve Hampson, managing director of Harlaxton Estates, which is behind the project, said the development represented the biggest commercial property project in Newark in recent years and also the largest job creation.

"The town is in desperate need of a quality hotel with good accessibility and facilities," said Mr Hampson.

"This major development and significant investment will put Newark firmly on the UK map, assist its immediate needs in the hotel accommodation and office sectors, and ultimately benefit the region’s future growth and the people of the town."

Mr Hampson said the development would have the wow-factor from the A46.

The plans will be displayed in a public exhibition at Farndon Memorial Hall on Wednesday, from 3pm to 7pm.

They include a publicly-accessible lake with a countryside walk around it and a lake-side community building.

Mr Jon Pope, of GPS Planning and Design of Nottingham, said the public consultation would help influence the proposals, which have been in the making for more than a year, ahead of a planning application likely to be submitted in June.

If approved, construction could start by the end of the year with completion of the hotel and filling station expected in late 2019.

Mr Hampson said Holiday Inn Express had signed up, as had the Blakemore Group, which would operate the filling station, and are the largest division of Spar UK.

The land, owned by the Hardy family, is secured and access would be from the old A46. Hardy’s businesses would not be affected.

"We have the funding and the operator in place to build the hotel as soon after planning as possible, if granted," Mr Hampson said.

"But, as we have seen with other delayed projects in the town, national operators can lose appetite and move focus to another town, which would be a great loss for Newark."

He said the development would act as a signpost for all that Newark had to offer, encouraging people to go and see the Market Place, castle, National Civil War Centre and take a walk down by the River Trent.

WITH their plans are Mr Steve Hampson, right, managing director of Harlaxton Estates Ltd, and Mr Jon Pope, of GPS Planning and Design.
WITH their plans are Mr Steve Hampson, right, managing director of Harlaxton Estates Ltd, and Mr Jon Pope, of GPS Planning and Design.

"We have managed to bring a global brand to the town in the hope of not only facilitating the town’s corporate and tourism needs, but also make Newark a destination to meet as it is at the convergence of many trunk roads and a great rail link to London," Mr Hampson said.

He said previous hotel applications for Newark were never acted upon, and bookings were being lost to Grantham and Lincoln along with the money those people spent.

He said the location had been selected after careful consideration of all available sites in Newark and chosen because of the need for it to be on the western side of the bypass for brand visibility, accessibility and infrastructure needs, while not impacting on current congestion issues.