Campaigning MP Alex Cunningham is delighted that a £5 million plan to convert the former Swallow Hotel building at the end of Stockton High Street into student accommodation has been submitted for planning permission this week.
AG Lathe, owners of both the Castlegate shopping centre and the Swallow Hotel building, hope to transform the neglected building into dedicated student accommodation comprising 133 student rooms. The planned complex will also feature a cinema room, various communal areas and meeting rooms, while the former Ashes Bar would be retained as a separate public house. The swimming pool and gymnasium would also be retained as a health club.
The Stockton North Labour MP has previously met with representatives from both AG Lathe and Whitbread – who owned a lease on the building with over 80 years still to run – in efforts to press for a deal to conclude the matter, and wrote to the Chairman of Whitbread asking him to personally intervene.
“I am delighted that progress is at last being made on converting the old Swallow Hotel building, not only bringing this key local asset back into use but also tidying up the building in the process. The people of Stockton have long been calling for action to be taken, and I have been pushing for a workable solution for several years.
“Stockton Borough Council, as well as private partners such as AG Lathe, have invested vast sums of money to redevelop Stockton’s High Street and attract new retail businesses to the area. After some complex and protracted legal wrangling, a planning application has now been submitted to the Council that would see the site modernised and provide high-quality accommodation for the growing numbers of students in Stockton.
“With work to regenerate the High Street nearing completion and plans to re-open the famed Globe Theatre well underway, the success of this application would signify another key step in refreshing the face of Stockton, boosting the local economy and marking a brighter future for the entire borough.”