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Harrow Town Centre: Plans submitted for new 140-room Premier Inn hotel

A former Harrow library could soon be demolished and the site redeveloped into a new 140-room hotel.

The Garden House building on St John’s Road would become the borough’s second Premier Inn under the latest plans submitted to Harrow Council.

Hospitality business and owner of the Premier Inn, Whitbread, has applied for planning permission to build the hotel at the site of the former Gayton Library. It has also applied for an alcohol licence until 11pm Monday to Saturday and 10pm on Sunday – but available 24 hours a day to hotel guests.

The St John’s Road site is currently empty. The library was relocated in 2019 as part of a town centre regeneration scheme and had previously been the location for the job centre The 12-storey hotel plan is said to be in response to ‘high levels of demand’ for rooms across London.

When they were first formally submitted back in 2022, the plans received some backlash from residents who raised concerns about the size and scale of the development. They said they felt that a hotel would be out of place in the area and feared they would lose light into their homes as well as their privacy.

If approved, the ground floor will comprise a secure entrance lobby, including the reception as well as a restaurant and bar area. All of the 140 bedrooms will be located on the upper floors. It would add to the hotel chain’s existing site on Kenton Road.

Harrow Town Centre: Plans submitted for new 140-room Premier Inn hotel Harrow Online
Gayton Library. The site used to be home to Gayton Library, which was relocated in 2019. Image Credit: Google Maps. Permission to use with all LSRS partners

The acquisitions manager for Whitbread, Louise Woodruff, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) that it is currently finalising planning permission with Harrow Council and the Greater London Authority (GLA) to get final approval. The company claims the development will make an ‘impactful, positive contribution’ to Harrow’s local economy.

Ms Woodruff said: “The licensing application we submitted to the Council recently is to put us in a position to develop and open the hotel as soon as we are able. Assuming we can get the licensing and the final planning permissions we need, we could be in a position to start construction work later this year.”

She added: “Premier Inn hotels are great generators of new employment and we find our hotels make an excellent addition to local economies through the spending of our guests. From our own research, I would expect the Harrow Town Centre Premier Inn would benefit the local economy by many millions of pounds as well as creating around 40 new permanent positions.”

Harrow Council was approached for more information but did not respond ahead of publication.