Royal Docks luxury yacht hotel given thumbs-up despite objections

Artist's impression of the proposed new hotel. Picture: Sunborn International

An artist's impression of the proposed new hotel which could generate 45 full time jobs. - Credit: Sunborn International

Plans to create the "most environmentally friendly" hotel in the capital have been given the green light despite neighbours' objections over noise.

Members of Newham Council's strategic development committee voted unanimously in favour of the scheme from Sunborn International Ltd in a meeting on Thursday, February 4.

The plan will create up to 220 rooms in a new, 134m-long vessel brought in to replace the company's existing yacht hotel which is moored at Royal Victoria Square near the ExCeL London exhibition centre.

Designs show a reduced carbon footprint and no discharge into waterways.

Company chief executive, Hans Niemi, said: "It's a very exciting project. It's the most advanced ship we have built in terms of its sustainability targets.

"It will be the most environmentally friendly hotel in London, if not in the whole of the UK, in many aspects."

The Sunborn London Yacht Hotel.

The Sunborn London yacht hotel is moored at Royal Victoria Square. - Credit: Sunborn International

He added the hotel would boost room capacity in the Royal Docks where London ExCeL is pursuing its own growth plan. 

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However, Kay Tobin, speaking for neighbours living opposite, raised concerns over noise and traffic.

She added while there was no objection to the idea of a hotel, background noise limits had been broken, citing reports in 2013 and 2020 showing levels of 38 and 43 decibels in the area respectively.

The current vessel has been moored since 2014.

"We have never been able to get close to the 38 decibels we had before the Sunborn arrived," Ms Tobin said.

She described traffic reports submitted by Sunborn as "nonsense", saying taxis, cars and trucks come and go all day and night.

"They are not adhering to any noise conditions and the proposal they have submitted is nonsensical," she added.

She recommended mooring the boat at the eastern end of the ExCeL where there is road access to the dockside and existing hotels are double-glazed.

The meeting heard, however, that there was no evidence of enforcement action being taken in response to noise at the hotel. 

Mr Niemi said the venue is not supposed to take any but essential traffic and the "bulk" is within set limits. He added the new vessel is not expected to generate more.

The plans were approved with the addition of CCTV to help monitor noise and traffic.