'Losing hotel could be disastrous' - petition launched to save Harpenden House Hotel

St Albans & Harpenden Review: 'Losing Harpenden hotel could be disastrous' - petition launched to save Harpenden House Hotel 'Losing Harpenden hotel could be disastrous' - petition launched to save Harpenden House Hotel

Dismayed residents have set up an online petition against the closure of a Harpenden hotel which has been described as "the lifeblood for a balanced community."

The petition to save Harpenden House Hotel from being demolished to make way for flats, has already collected more than 775 signatures after town resident John Hansen began a Facebook page, ‘Save Harpenden House’, before setting up a petition shortly after.

Mr Hansen, MD of an infrastructure company in Harpenden, said he wants to urge local councils to take action to protect this "vital component of the town."

He said: "With the other hotel already closed and undergoing conversion to flats, losing the only remaining hotel will potentially be disastrous for the town.

"The hotel is part of the lifeblood for a balanced community - it is far more than a place to stay.

"It is a true asset to our town that we cannot afford to lose."

Customers were told on Valentine's Day that the Grade II listed Georgian town house hotel would be closing its doors to build flats.

With 500 signatures needed on a petition in order to talk at relevant council meetings, this milestone was reached within two days of the petition going live.

By Monday afternoon the petition had more than 775 signatures and numerous supporting comments, while the Facebook page currently has almost 900 likes. Mr Hansen has now been invited to ask a question at the Planning Policy Committee at St Albans District Council offices on Tuesday evening.

Hillary Taylor, co-founder of the initiative said she hoped St Albans District Council would support its policy for the retention of community facilities.

She said: "This is early days yet, St Albans District Council policy is underdevelopment but it states ‘the council will support the retention of community facilities and development will not be permitted which would lead to the loss of premises used, or last used, for community purposes, unless suitably re-provided elsewhere or unless it can be clearly demonstrated that it is no longer required."

Link to the petition: http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/saveharpendenhouse

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