TRAVELODGE may be coming to mid-Hackney. The car park on the site of the fire-destroyed Gibbons furniture shop at 7-19Amhurst Road E8 1LL is a prime candidate for one of the budget chain’s hotels.
Gibbons was founded in 1831. It closed in 2002 and in the next year its handsome street frontage and some adjacent buildings were dramatically razed to the ground.
An offshore company, Tandale Properties, last month won planning permission to build a seven-storey development: a 72-room hotel, student flats and shops on the vacant lot on the site.
The hotel chain told Loving Dalston: “Travelodge has expressed an interest in the Amhurst Road site.
Nick Dines said that the company was “very active” in the property market. “It is also looking at sites in the Stoke Newington-Stamford Hill area and near London Fields,” he added.
Travelodge is probably waiting to see progress on the so-called Crossrail 2 proposal, which would bring the Tube to Hackney. The borough council insists that any development on the site does not interfere with access to any underground station.
In 2010 Liberal Democrats surveyed local residents about the site. The questionnaire said that since Gibbons had burnt down, the council had done “virtually nothing”. The LibDems asked for ideas for the site. Most popular was “flats and shops”.
Dines said that Hackney was a “hot-spot” for developers. He was aware of speculator activity in the area that was aiming for big profits by buying land and getting planning permission for a big scheme before selling on without building anything.
David Altheer 080112
* Additional research: Benjamin Counsell
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