Plans to demolish the old Grenada Hotel in Lampton Road to make way for a 122-bed hotel and 73 flats have received the thumbs up from Hounslow residents.
Developers submitted plans for the site of the run-down guesthouse just before Christmas. The new building, which will vary in height from four to eight storeys, would become a Travelodge hotel should councillors give the application the go-ahead.
It would be opposite the Days Inn Hotel, which opened just months ago, across the road from the Continental Hotel and just a few hundred yards from the new Etap Hotel in Staines Road.
But a straw poll of pedestrians passing the site last week suggests residents are keen to see the building regenerated and believe more hotels are what the town needs.
The boarded-up guest house closed nearly eight months ago and was nearly destroyed recently when a fire believed to have been started by squatters to keep warm spiralled out of control.
More than three quarters of those questioned by the Chronicle felt the building had become an eyesore and was in need of regeneration.
Several people pointed out that the tourist industry already supports a number of jobs in Hounslow and it was vital to create new positions ahead of the looming recession.
However, 18-year-old science student Ahmad Sayed, of Hounslow, said there was still a need for more housing and the site would be better used for family-sized homes.
The economic crisis has sparked fears of falling passenger numbers at Heathrow, which could seriously dent the tourist market.
But Malcolm Honour, director of the project's consultants CGMS, insisted the demand for hotels in Hounslow was sufficient even if the Government rejects plans to expand Heathrow next month.
"Travelodge believes additional capacity is needed and the area based on its judgements about the market as it exists," he added.
NIKHIL AHUJA, 25, hotel duty manager, Bulstrode Road, Hounslow
"Hounslow definitely has room for more hotels because the existing ones are always very busy."
SATYA KUNDULA, 32, hotel floor manager, Isleworth
"It's a good idea to get rid of that building because it's very ugly and I think there's enough demand for another hotel."
MARIUSZ ZAWADOWICZ, 26, Inwood Road, Hounslow
"It will be good to see the old guest house back in use but I don't see why they can't renovate the existing building."