04:45AM, Wednesday 16 April 2014
The Maidenhead hoteliers who could see their business demolished to make way for retirement flats say the believe the build would 'serve the community.'
Husband-and-wife team Andrew and Nasim England, who have run the Walton Cottage Hotel in Marlow Road for 26 years, were approached by developer McCarthy & Stone and entered into an exclusive agreement with the company.
Andrew, 73, and Nasim, 65, say they were already considering retirement at the time.
Plans have been drawn up by McCarthy & Stone to demolish and replace the 72-room business with more than 60 one and two-bed apartments.
If planning permission is granted by the Royal Borough, work could begin on the site in 18 months.
The Englands, who employ 18 members of staff, say they initially considered finding another hotel company to take it on but the idea wasn't viable.
They support McCarthy & Stone's vision for the site and believe the development will help alleviate the Maidenhead housing market.
Andrew said: "We felt that this would be a legacy."
"We want to leave something on the site of Walton Cottage that will have some value to the community."
He did not say how much the site is worth.
The father-of-one, who took on Walton Cottage with Nasim from the Keable family, says the recent influx of Maidenhead hotels including the Travelodge in King Street are creating an 'oversupply of accommodation.'
He added: "When we first came here Maidenhead was an extremely busy, corporate town.
"What we have seen since the 2008 recession is that many companies have gone out of business."
The couple, who are unsure of their own retirement plans, say the hotel could remain open for at least another year.
They have expressed their sadness at the prospect of closing.
Andrew added: "My wife is really quite upset."
"This place is her home and her family and she has run it with a personal passion which is why it has been so successful.
"We will continue to operate at the same high standard we always have done."