Green light for new hotel at Willen Lake

Posted 11th May 2020

Whitbread – owner of Premier Inn – has secured planning permission for a new Premier Inn hotel and family restaurant at Willen Lake in Milton Keynes: a scheme which will create 60-70 new jobs and see a multi-million pound investment.

Milton Keynes Council approved the proposals at a meeting of its Planning Committee on Thursday 7th May 2020, subject to the completion of a Section 106 Agreement.  The meeting was held ‘virtually’ under changes as a result of COVID-19.

The proposals are for a new 120 bedroom Premier Inn hotel together with a 211 cover ‘Cookhouse and Pub’ restaurant overlooking the lake.  As well as adding more hotel capacity and more choice into the area, the new hotel and related investment will further reinforce Willen Lake as one of the key leisure attractions for Milton Keynes.

Whitbread designed and developed the plans in conjunction with The Parks Trust which has a wider ambition for the overall improvement of Willen Lake.

Jamie Baker, Development Manager at Whitbread, said:

“A brand new, purpose-planned and purpose-built Premier Inn will make a massive contribution to the facilities and attractiveness of Willen Lake.  The designs for both the hotel and family restaurant really connect with the lake providing striking views and what will be a fantastic place to meet, eat, drink and relax.  Getting the green light to invest into and improve this part of Milton Keynes is more important now than ever and I’m pleased the Council has supported our vision and proposed investment.”

Ben Allot, Head of Property at The Parks Trust, said:

“Willen Lake is managed by The Parks Trust. We have been working hard to improve the visitor experience at what is one of Milton Keynes’ most popular leisure destinations.  The new Premier Inn hotel and restaurant will attract new visitors and will be an important contribution to the city’s visitor economy.  The rental income from this venture goes directly back into the charity to support its important work, caring for Milton Keynes’ parks.  This work is financed by The Trust’s endowment fund which enables the charity to make investments which provide the income to maintain and improve the parks.”

Whitbread, which combines expertise in both property development and operation, coordinated a dedicated design team to create an attractive new hotel and restaurant on the site.

The new four storey hotel will be a latest-generation Premier Inn with a bespoke design to reflect the site’s setting.  The adjacent Cookhouse and Pub restaurant will have a light and bright glass frontage and outside seating area for customers.  The restaurant will be a single storey building with double-height windows to the front, overlooking the lake.

The hotel will feature a number of family bedrooms to cater for people visiting Milton Keynes for Willen Lake, Gulliver’s World or other local attractions and looking for suitable accommodation in this part of Milton Keynes.

A dedicated customer car park will provide 157 car parking spaces.

The site of the new hotel and restaurant is off Brickhill Street immediately to the south of the Unify office building.