DC Casebook: Housing: New Build - Prime location foils hotel redevelopment

The demolition of a hotel on the Isle of Wight to make way for 14 flats has been dismissed after an inspector decided that the appellant had failed to provide adequate justification for its removal.

The premises lay close to the seafront and town centre. The appellant relied on a tourism report suggesting that the supply of hotel accommodation on the island should be reduced. His assertion that the hotel was in poor condition and unviable was supported by an independent assessment indicating that even with significant investment the hotel was unlikely to make an acceptable profit.

The inspector decided that any reduction in the island's hotel accommodation should be managed. In his opinion, the hotel occupied one of the area's best locations, enjoying extensive sea views and easy access to a range of facilities. The appellant did not appear to have marketed the property for a minimum of between one and two years at a realistic price, he found. Low trading levels were insufficient to sanction a loss that could undermine the island's tourism potential, he held.

In addition, he decided that the scale and massing of the flats would undermine the character of the area, with accommodation in the roof space adding to the overall bulk. Coupled with the increase in height, he saw potential for residents to overlook balconies and amenity areas at an adjacent residential development. Adjoining residents' outlook would also be affected, he concluded.

Inspector: Mike Stones; Written representations

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