A proposal designed by Allison Pike for a 71 bedroom Premier Inn with Beefeater restaurant & 90 parking spaces to be constructed in the car park of the Leekes of Melksham department store was recently approved by Wiltshire Council. Currently brownfield land comprising an unused section of the store’s car park, the site lies at an important gateway for the town.
Located opposite two Grade II listed buildings, the design of the hotel & restaurant had to respond these buildings; the adjacent department store; and mark the northern perimeter of the town centre.
The sensitive building design adopts a traditional industrial aesthetic, responding appropriately to the mixed built environment and heritage context of the site. Externally the material palette includes facing blockwork as a main façade cladding material, which emulates rather than imitates the Listed buildings opposite. The blockwork has been applied to the important features of the building, including the hotel entrance, the restaurant projection and entrance, and the eastern façade facing Beanacre Road. A cream render (a close colour match to the stone) has been selected as a sensitive, neutral background to soften the mass of the building. The use of punched windows with their alternating frame profiles, giving visual interest to the façade. A metal standing seam roof level is carried down onto the upper floors of the hotel to give the appearance of a lower eaves level.
Director in charge, Chris Gill stated: “The design, which will deliver a high quality development on this brownfield site, was informed through pre-application discussions with Wiltshire Council. A hard and soft landscaping scheme that complements the design of the building will assist in integrating the site into its wider setting while enhanced internal site access will ensure the safe and convenient use of the car park by all visitors.”
The Local economy will benefit from new employment opportunities and the hotel will support the service sector and tourist economy of Melksham and supplement the range of quality hotel accommodation in the town.