THERE are two words that Premier Inn use to sell themselves as “cheap and big.” These are two things we never wish for Falmouth to become. It was with great dismay that we read of the proposal to build a 70-room plus Premier Inn on the site of the car park at the entrance to the Maritime Events Square in Falmouth.

Our concerns are threefold: Firstly, as owners of property in Marine Crescent we do not wish our view to be blighted by the sight of a Premier Inn, which promotes itself as “cheap and big” and have our neighbourhood down marketed by this type of chain. The car park, which is opposite our property, affords a much needed overflow for the locals visiting Falmouth for shopping and also for tourists visiting the town. The loss of this car park will naturally impinge on local residents trying to park near their properties. The existing parking chaos will be made worse, which will also scare off potential visitors.

Secondly, the proposers for a new Premier Inn suggest this will create 40 jobs. These jobs will almost certainly be taken directly from existing hotels and bed and breakfasts, who will be forced to lay off staff when the effect of a large economy hotel in their midst begins to bite. Surely the council needs to support local businesses, not encourage the growth of multi-chain enterprises. We believe that local economy will suffer also as a huge chain like Premier Inn will use and spend its profits out of Cornwall/Falmouth. With four or five uncertain years ahead, please do not undermine local businesses future by allowing a cheap hotel chain to enter our market and feed on the dwindling tourist income.

Our third concern also relates to the previously mentioned “dumbing down” of Falmouth. The proposed siting of the Premier Inn is adjacent to the beautiful historic Arwenack House! An economy hotel will only encourage lots more of certain groups of people who are after a cheap weekend or break for such activities as hen nights, stag parties, etc. This will exacerbate the problems which already occur on a Friday and Saturday night when the streets suffer from noisy drunks and frequent ensuing fights.

We sincerely hope that the council will listen to the voices of the residents and not allow the degradation of Falmouth with the subsequent loss of its unique character.

Richard and Pauline Spong, Leigh-on-Sea.