AIRPORT bosses have launched an appeal with the government after plans for a new hotel were rejected.

Southend Airport has lodged the appeal with the Secretary of State after Rochford Council blocked plans for a new 132 bedroom hotel.

Rochford Council refused the plans due to concerns over increased traffic and additional on-street parking impacting safety and the flow of traffic.

The six storey hotel would be built on a staff car park to the north of Eastwoodbury Crescent, close to Holiday Inn.

A letter from Southend resident Carol Bonnett also raised concerns.

It said: “As a resident living adjacent to the airport, I object to the hotel for the following reasons. Depriving the town’s smaller hotels and bed and breakfasts out of business, as the smaller businesses​ are struggling enough.

“Increased traffic, impact on roads and traffic pollution, air quality. Harp House roundabout is congested enough.

“Since Covid and the aircraft movements reduced I’ve noticed an increased amount of wildlife and birds in the surrounding area.”

However, Tory leader Tony Cox backed the proposals.

He said: “I have always been supportive of the airport. There is already one hotel near the airport and it’s been a success.

“I think the principle of a hotel at the airport does seem to be sound.

“It will bring jobs into the area and will attract people back into an industry that’s been decimated due to the Covid pandemic.”

A spokesman for Southend Airport said: “The planning inspectorate is currently reviewing the case so it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage, other than to say we are confident our proposals address the concerns raised.

“A new, high quality hotel at the airport would create jobs and contribute to the important visitor economy of our town.”