Campaigners are fighting plans to replace a car park with an 80-bedroom hotel and shop.

Hertsmere Borough Council wants to built a hotel and shop on the site of the Newberries car park in Radlett car park.

The council says it wants to retain the current number of parking spaces, but opponents of the scheme who have set up a Facebook group called The Residents Against Newberries Car Park Scheme (TRACKS) claim spaces will be lost.

TRACKS member Billy Brown, 54, of Radlett, said: “We need the car park. The council never consulted anyone in Radlett before deciding on the development.

“There are more and more people coming into Radlett and more developments being built, meaning more cars coming in.

“People need somewhere to park. The Radlett Centre doesn’t have any parking and the doctor’s surgery doesn’t either.

“There is not enough parking in Radlett as it is and the council want to get rid of some of the spaces. The hotel will bring more people who have cars but where will they park? It will be just a nuisance.”

The hotel will not serve food, which the council says will mean guests will use local shops and restaurants.

According to Mr Brown, people are going to go to the hotel in the evening meaning they will not use the shops as they will be closed.

He also fears how the hotel may bring jobs into businesses but this could harm the shops already in the village.

The council has said that if it is not successful as a hotel it will turn it into budget homes, but Mr Brown does not believe this is viable.

He said: “The council has said that if the hotel doesn’t work they will turn it into budget homes.

“On one side there is the back of shops, the other a train track and in front a car park. It is not the most appealing place for homes. Plus it is a flood zone as well.”

According to the council, the investment will also provide income to the council and allow it to protect valued services, ensuring all residents of the borough will benefit.

Cllr John Graham, who is in charge of finance, said: “The proposed development would boost the local economy in Radlett by up to £1 million per year and promote the creation of jobs in the area, as well as bringing much-needed revenue to the council.

“This would help to offset the reductions in government funding that we’ll be facing in the next few years.

“The proposal is for hotel and retail provision, not for housing. The site has been considered ideal for a hotel, having good connections to the M25, M1, and A1 and being very close to Radlett station.

“The intention is to ensure that the number of parking spaces remains the same. The ground floor would be reconfigured or extended to ensure the spaces lost by pillars would be replaced.

“Addition spaces would be created on the upper floor and these would be used for the retail customers.

“Hertsmere has also undertaken to review the parking strategy for Radlett as a whole to see if the current position can be improved.

“The scheme will be progressing towards planning application stage, but there remain a number of further phases before it reaches the stage of being submitted as a planning application.

“If and when it progresses to that stage residents and other interested parties will have their opportunity to comment through the planning consultation process."

“That planning application process would also see the implications for traffic locally being assessed.”

There will be a parish council AGM at the Radlett Centre on Wednesday, March 9 at which Radlett people can ask questions about the Newberries scheme.