Sunday, 20 August 2017

Imperial Hotel should re-open, says councillor

A COUNCILLOR has called for a Henley hotel to be re-opened almost a decade after it closed.

The Imperial Hotel in Station Road, which shut in 2006, was partially refurbished three years ago but has remained closed.

Now town, district and county councillor David Nimmo Smith has urged owner Dr Raymond Crockett to re-open it.

He said: “It would probably be too far stretched to call it an eyesore because it’s not falling down and it’s in reasonable nick but it’s a hotel, so it should be open for business and it’s not.

“It’s the first thing that people see when they leave the station and should be welcoming people to the town.

“It’s an iconic building and the owners should be proud of what they have got and doing something with it.”

He said there was nothing any council could do as the owner had planning permission for the work that was done.

“What I would like to do is get hold of the people that own it and find out what the situation is,” he said.

Dr Crockett, who lives in Remenham, told the Henley Standard in 2013 that he hoped to re-open the Imperial but said there was a lot of work to be done, including installing central heating.

He said: “This isn’t an easy reconstruction of a hotel as it’s a very old place. There are certain things that are virtually finished but a few areas that aren’t.

“We’re not recreating an old-fashioned hotel. It will have facilities equal to the best hotel in the world.

“People always ask me outside the hotel ‘when will it be open?' but they all get the same answer of ‘how long is a piece of string?’”

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