Plans to convert Bridge Street Police Station into a Premier Inn hotel have been recommended for approval.
An application for the 126 bed hotel in the city centre goes before Peterborough City Council’s Planning and Environmental Protection Committee on Tuesday.
And councillors making the final decision on the plans have received a report from the authority’s planning department backing the proposals, which would provide 37 new jobs.
However, Peterborough Civic Society has called for the application to be altered to align traffic travelling north and south at Town Bridge, rather than have the roads separated by the police station as they are currently.
It said: “The benefits of doing so are numerous. For one it would make crossing of Bridge Street for pedestrians much easier to the police station site and the Embankment.
“Vehicular traffic would be less delayed. The setting of the Customs House would be enhanced with a wide traffic free area between it and the proposed building.
“The hotel could utilise part of this area as an outdoor extension to its lobby/restaurant and bar facilities, an increasingly popular feature especially valuable where a building has a south facing aspect.
“The closure to vehicles of part of Rivergate would provide a development site to the east of the police station site which could be used to finance the road realignment.
“The potential of this idea deserves to be fully explored.”
The report to councillors includes comments from the council’s conservation officer who stated: “With the site being currently vacant, the site is becoming increasingly deteriorated in appearance and a feeling of ‘deadness’ that is associated with such inactivity.
“The vacant site currently has a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of this very busy and prominent arterial route into the city centre.
“I agree with the comments of the Civic Society that there is an opportunity to re-design the gyratory to better effect in terms of highways.
“However, disruption and cost have likely put any ambition to do this entirely out of reach.”
The Bridge Street Police Station has been closed since 2015.
The new Premier Inn would have a restaurant and car park with 39 spaces but would be only a short walking distance from the new Hilton Garden Inn hotel at the Fletton Quays development.
The committee will decide on the application at a public meeting in the Bourges/Viersen Room at the Town Hall from 1.30pm on Tuesday.