Historic hotel the White Hart outlines multi-million pound improvement plans for Uphill Lincoln
The White Hart, an award winning hotel situated in Lincolnís historic Uphill district, has recently announced plans for the redevelopment of a car park located on St Paulís Lane. In doing so, the owners and the hotel management aim to improve the appearance of the area as well as secure a positive impact for the local economy.
From its beginnings in the 14th century as a coach inn until today, the White Hart remains one of the most prominent hotels in Lincoln. With its contemporary dťcor, spectacular views of the ancient Castle and Lincolnís Cathedral and a history of world famous guests*, it regularly attracts visitors, looking for high quality accommodation and easy access to the major sites of the city.
In order to continue its development as a world-class historic city centre hotel, five years ago the White Hart embarked on a plan to extend its premises by redeveloping a currently unattractive car parking plot. The area, situated on St Paulís Lane and in close proximity to the Castle and Cathedral, also contains unsightly asbestos sheds which are to be removed completely. The hotel plans to extend its facilities with the creation of a new three-storey building including a car park, three small artisanal commercial units on street level, and two further stories of hotel rooms. The new development will provide 28 brand new guest bedrooms for the White Hart, as well as dramatically improve its immediate surroundings.
Following on from extensive consultations with the Lincoln City Planning, Heritage, Tourism and associated departments, and a number of design amendments based on the recommendations of the East Midlands Design Review Panel and English Heritage, in February 2009 the hotel submitted its final plans for the proposed redevelopment of the car parking site. London architects, De Matos Storey Ryan, have taken a highly considered and sympathetic approach to the prevailing historic context of area and arrived at a design which offers a number of benefits.
The development will attract additional visitor numbers to Lincoln
The additional hotel capacity is expected to allow for an increased number of visitors to the hotel and Lincoln as a whole, thus benefiting directly the Uphill area of the city through the generation of additional revenues and provision of extra employment.
Improvement of the visual aspect and foregrounds of the Castle
The plan makes provisions for the landscaping of the raised hotel level. This will result in a garden, which is a visually pleasing foreground to the Castle and which re-establishes a sense of the historic castle moat. This is expected to have a positive impact on the general aesthetics of the area, its attractiveness for residents and business owners, and tourists as a whole.
The design and final appearance of the building complements the local environment
The design of the new hotel building takes a highly considerate approach to the surrounding area. It breaks up what would otherwise be a significant mass into six smaller brick volumes that are in keeping with the medieval townscape of Uphill Lincoln. The materials specified for the construction (red brick and slate) allow for the building to blend easily with its surroundings despite its overall contemporary design. The proposal also incorporates pitched roofs to complement the local roofscape.
An aesthetically pleasing retail environment
The new development will also contain an attractive street front and small retail units, which will engage with the public and attract additional commercial traffic to Uphill Lincoln. Overall, this will significantly uplift the present appearance of St Paulís Lane.
Re-establishing historic St Paulís Lane connection
The Castle Hill study undertaken by the Historic Lincoln Partnership recommended that the St Paulís Lane connection with the hill should be re-established as it would be a beneficial tourist thoroughfare. The plan takes this recommendation into consideration, and has been constructed so as to allow for this to happen.
Maintaining and concealing the car parking facility
The current car parking facility operated by the hotel will also be retained but will be concealed from view with the introduction of a new commercial unit thus once again improving the setting for the castle.
The above benefits, combined with the ongoing refurbishment plans of the existing hotel building and the work already undertaken to improve its immediate setting, will without doubt impact positively on local trade and the community as a whole. The proximity of both the Castle and the Lincoln Cathedral means that tourists will be retained and additional revenues generated from visitors to the area. The residents of Uphill will also be able to enjoy a safer and more attractive local environment which is likely to also reflect on property prices.
Ambar Paul, Chairman of Caparo Hotels, comments: ďThe White Hart is an important part of the heritage as well as the future of Uphillís Lincoln, and we strongly believe that a win approach for us will also translate into a win for the local community, in more ways than one. Our intention has and will always be to work hand-in-hand with the local Council, community and any other organisation that has the better future of the area at heart.Ē
*In the summer of 2005 the White Hart was honoured to welcome the Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks and Oscar-winning director Ron Howard for the filming of Columbia Picturesí ďThe Da Vinci CodeĒ.
Posted: 31 March 2009