Hotel owner not giving up on tall building near town

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A DONCASTER businessman’s bid to build a town centre skyscraper is still viable despite initial rejection by planning officers.

Graham Rhoden, owner of the Earl of Doncaster Hotel, applied to build the 300ft tall hotel, apartment and office block on the site of his Warehouse night club next to North Bridge Road.

But his first application for an iconic building, which would have been higher than Doncaster Minster, was refused consent by Doncaster Council planners.

Mr Rhoden knew his plans would be controversial and now he is looking at a compromise, probably over the height of the structure.

If it had been given the go-ahead the building would have been almost twice as high as the blocks of flats in St James Street.

Mr Rhoden’s planning spokesman Graham Raynor said the application was “still very much alive”.

He said: “The reason for the refusal was because the council decided they didn’t have sufficient information about it in the time scale allowed - not that it was unacceptable.

“Since then we have had a meeting with them to try and move it forward and we’d like to meet to discuss it further some time in May.

“We will probably discuss a possible reduction in the height of the building.

“We want this to be a quality building and it is important to get it right.”

The original plan was for a structure that could have been seen from all points of the compass and it could have made a positive statement and act as a catalyst for regeneration.

At the time it was submitted Mr Raynor said it would probably be the most challenging town centre application dealt with by the local authority for several years.

The original plan was for a 30-storey building with a public entrance on to North Bridge and servicing from the rear in Marshgate, large areas of which are currently derelict and ripe for redevelopment.