A High Court Judge has dismissed a call for a judicial review into Eastleigh Borough Council’s decision to fund the building of a 175 bedroom 5 star hotel saying it had “no realistic chance of success”.
Local hoteliers including the Holiday Inn, had challenged the council’s decision to waste £32m of public money on the scheme at the West End Rose Bowl, claiming it put taxpayers at risk and threatened up to 200 local jobs.
The council’s plan, described by the Audit Commission as ‘Ambitious’, sees all the risk placed on local council taxpayers instead of Hilton Hotel owners Blackstone, the world’s largest private equity firm who last year had a revenue of over $3 billion.
Earlier this month Eastleigh Socialist Party had criticised the Lib Dem scheme as ‘Madness’ in the face of record unemployment in the town. Today Nick Chaffey, regional organiser for the party, reacted angrily to the news calling the Hotel a ‘scandalous abuse of public money’
He went on to say:
“How out of touch is the High Court and local politicians? They are living on a different 5 star planet. Local people will be outraged. There is a clear need for candidates to stand in the local elections with the interests and needs of local people at heart”
“We need a programme of building affordable council housing – not hotels for Hooray Henrys.”
Objectors still have a chance to lodge an appeal.