What is it about Newport’s planning department that enables a planning officer, to say, in the context of The Chartist Tower planning proposal , “no need for car parking”. To recap, a 164 bed hotel is proposed, plus 30,000 square feet of offices and 18,000 square feet of retail. Leaving the other uses to one side for the moment, 164 beds will presumably mean 164 occupants. Mr Jones refers to “a very short walk to the Station”. Depends on how much luggage you have. However, all is not lost. We are told that there will be 20 parking spaces in the basement. Goody. Also, they intend to appropriate 50 spaces in Friars Walk. Have they gone stark raving mad? The observant among you will have noticed that, soon after the “Debenhams” car park opened, some 25 spaces were allocated to a car cleaning outfit. That died the death. Friars Walk needs to be a success. The last thing it needs is fewer parking spaces.

On a more general point, why is Newport so useless in attracting practical, deliverable Hotel Accommodation? The old Sainsbury’s proposal went nowhere, nor did the Mill Street proposition.

G Davies

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