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[06 JUL 99] JAMES PLASKITT MP NEWS
James Plaskitt Joins Fight To Save Regent Hotel

James Plaskitt MPWarwick and Leamington MP James Plaskitt has become the latest well known local name to back an appeal to save Leamington’s Regent Hotel.

The famous building, situated on the Parade, closed its doors to residents in December last year and was due to be developed into a major shopping and leisure centre.

However, the plans provoked a large response from local residents and townspeople who feel that more effort should be made to keep the historic site as a hotel.

Last week Leamington born radio star Norman Painting – Phil Archer from BBC Radio 4’s Archers – voiced his support for the hotel and now Labour MP Plaskitt has added his weight to the argument by insisting that a decision on the future of the hotel must not be rushed.

He said:

"The major argument that has been made against keeping the Regent as a hotel has been people saying that it was not financially viable to do so.

"However, I have been studying consultants reports as these clearly show that it could run as a hotel, and I now believe that we must exhaust all efforts to find a buyer who will keep it as a hotel before we consider anything else.

"I find any argument which suggests that the Regent could preserve its architectural merit without staying as a hotel hard to believe.

"Most of the character and style of the building is its interior and I cannot see how that could be retained if it was being turned into a retail complex."

Plaskitt also believes that allowing the Regent to lose its character and reputation in the town would counteract much of the good work that is currently being done in Leamington.

He said:

"We are just seeing the reopening of the Pump Rooms just down the road, which is an absolutely first class restoration and is great news for the heritage of the town.

"Coupled with that, we are also about to see a couple of million pounds spent on Jephson Gardens, so it really is like the renaissance of Leamington and it would go against this to move towards an inappropriate development of the Regent."
  

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CWN / Politics / MPs / James Plaskitt / 6 Jul 99

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