Plans submitted for Hertfordshire aparthotel

A planning application to convert the former Gala Bingo hall in Waltham Cross into an aparthotel, a 24-hour gym and a cafe has been submitted.

Developer Peter Petrou of Mandras Estates withdrew a previous application for the site in February, but another application was submitted last week. The building housed an Embassy cinema for almost 60 years, before becoming a Gala Bingo in 1993. After closing in January 2017, the site has remained empty.

The new plans for The Waltham Pinnacle include 119 aparthotel rooms, as well as a 24-hour gym, and a cafe for residents. Each unit will feature a bed, a bathroom, a kitchenette, a TV and a work desk. There will also be communal areas, as well as rooftop gardens on the fifth and sixth floors.

In the design and access statement, the developer says that the UK is decades behind other countries in terms of aparthotels and that it would be able to accommodate both business and leisure travellers. It states: "The aparthotel use above the ground floor is in line with local and town centre policies and will provide the first step of realising the council's vision for a modern popular and vibrant town centre. This substantial investment will provide regeneration and substantially increase the number of overnight occupants within the town centre. There will be a substantial uplift to local shops and after hours activity within the town centre whilst promoting health and wellbeing for residents to use the new gym facilities."

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