Marsh Wall hotel to reach council


Will this 305-bedroom hotel be cleared to spring up directly opposite the Britannia International Hotel?

Applicant Marsh Wall Chelsea LLP will learn next week if Tower Hamlets Council approves its design for a "boutique" hotel at 40 Marsh Wall.

The 39-storey design would feature restaurants, leisure and conference facilities, serviced offices and a taxi drop-off point. The application would require the demolition of a five storey building, and would go head-to-head with one of the Wharf's oldest hotels.

The Britannia International Hotel was practically alone in the Docklands market when it opened in 1992, but has since faced competition in the area from hoteliers such as Hilton near South Quay DLR station.

Meanwhile, Canary Wharf Group subsidiary South Quay Properties has acquired the green-light for the 37-storey Newfoundland hotel a few steps to the west in Heron Quays.

The application - which was submitted in July - will appear before the council's Strategic Development Committee on Tuesday (December 15). Officers have recommended that it be approved, subject to a planning contribution of £1,140,518. This includes a £204,558 contribution to Skillsmatch for employment and training, £859,300 towards transport improvements such as highway works and the shifting of a bus stop, £35,000 towards public art in the area, and £1,400 towards the installation of three gates and an Olympic sign and £40,260 for the provision of open space in the borough. The hotel is also expected to sign up to a car-free agreement, and promote the employment of local people.

The proposed hotel would feature 454 square metres of conference facilities, 787 square metres of office space, 1,088 square metres of restaurants and cafes, and open space at street level. The building itself will rise to 127.15 metres AOD.

A total of 460 properties were consulted as part of the planning process, and four objections were received. Complaints include the "over-concentration of hotels within the area", the loss of the Office Angels employment agency when its building is demolished, and the lack of benefits for local residents.