Travelodge axed plans to open a hotel in The Parade, Epsom almost a year ago it emerged today, to the surprise of residents and campaigners.

A public consultation on plans to open a hotel on the site of the Comrades Club ended just weeks ago, with the Save Epsom group attacking the company's plans to open a hotel just a few hundred metres from the new Travelodge at Epsom station.

But this morning a Travelodge spokesman told the Epsom Guardian it had told would-be developers, Storm Land and Estates, back in December last year that it no longer wanted a hotel there.

He said he was prompted to put out a statement making its position clear after seeing an email news alert about the issue from the paper earlier this month.

Pressed on exactly why it no longer wanted to have two hotels in the town the company spokesman said the developers had failed to meet the agreed timescale for The Parade site.

He said: "We have got a hotel open by the station, but we are just going to settle for that at the moment.

"For the time being we are happy to see how the hotel by the station beds down."

A Planning Inspectorate spokeswoman confirmed today they were still dealing with an appeal by Storm Land and Estates after councillors ruled the plans were too large for the site.

Informed about the Travelodge pull-out, Councillor Nick Dallen said: "I am pleased that Travelodge are not continuing because I think the hotel at the station is going to prove adequate for them.

"That’s good news."

But Coun Dallen said he remained concerned that developers would pursue the appeal and someone else would come in to open a hotel at the location, which residents see as unsuitable.

He said: "Hopefully it’s good news but I’m not going to open the champagne yet."

Tina Mountain, who leads the Save Epsom group, said it would continue to oppose the plans regardless of the hotel brand.

Ms Mountain said: "It doesn’t change the situation that we would have a huge hotel with no parking right next door to the town hall.

"It doesn’t really matter who it is. The hotel is not in keeping with Epsom."

Developers Storm Land and Estates originally submitted a planning application to Epsom and Ewell Council for an 85-bed hotel in 2009.

This was rejected by councillors but a new design with 82-beds was submitted in September last year, and councillors deferred making a decision on it.

The developers then submitted a third proposal for a 77-bed hotel which was refused in March by councillors who ruled it was too large a development for the site.

Storm Land and Estates appealed this decision to the Secretary of State in September and the final decision now rests with national planning inspectors.

The company was contacted for a comment on its plans but has not yet responded.

The Travelodge at the station opened earlier this month and, according to a spokesman the business is doing well.