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King’s Cross ‘pod’ hotel gets Islington Council nod

PUBLISHED: 10:36 12 February 2014 | UPDATED: 13:28 12 February 2014

How the new hotel could look

How the new hotel could look

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Pod style hotel rooms are heading for Kings Cross but owners say they will be nothing like Tokyo.

The multi-million pound, six-storey Hub by Premier Inn – which will be built in York Way on a site currently occupied by a car wash – was given the go ahead at an Islington Council Planning Committee last night.

Officers had raised concerns that more than 12 per cent of the 408 rooms wouldn’t have windows – but the owners say these will be advertised as ‘pod-style’ accommodation and would be priced accordingly.

Pod hotels were developed in Japan and feature extremely small capsules intended to provide cheap, basic overnight accommodation for people who don’t require all the frills of normal hotels – often those with a long wait at an airport.

In Europe they tend to be bit larger, often with private baths.

Derek Griffin, from Whitbread, who will build the hotel, said: “Our York Way hotel will be one of the first of its type in the country.

Hub by Premier Inn is a new generation of compact, city centre hotel with contemporary room design and excellent connectivity, specifically designed to appeal to customers who value price, location and design over space.”

He said the “pod” rooms would be more like small hotel rooms than Japanese capsules and also promised the new hotel would create 70 jobs, half of which will go to people in the area.

The development includes two basement floors, along with landscaping in the surrounding area and retail units on the ground floor.

As part of the deal, the hotel have promised they will build no less than four bird and bat nesting boxes to help foster a habitat for biodiversity.

Issues were raised by 21 of the 884 people consulted about the project, who were worried about noise from rowdy guests like football fans and students, 24-hour a day use and loss of privacy, among other things.

No one from the American Car Wash Company, who currently operate on the site, was available for comment.

It was agreed at Tuesday’s meeting that the management plan for the hotel will be reviewed after two years of its opening.

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