Casebook: Appeal case - Leisure and entertainment - Boutique hotel rejected due to residential loss

The conversion of a former bank in a Surrey village to a boutique hotel has been refused after an inspector decided that it would entail an unacceptable loss of residential accommodation.

The building had been used as a bank until 1997, when it was converted to 14 short-let bedsits. The proposal entailed conversion and extension to form a 19-bedroom hotel providing low or mid-priced accommodation targeted mainly at business users. The ground floor would provide limited catering facilities that would also be open to the public.

The appellant argued that residential protection policies in the development plan were not intended to embrace the type of accommodation currently occupying the building. But the inspector held that it fell squarely within the terms of the policy and refused to accept that a demonstrable shortage of budget hotel accommodation in the area justified an exception to normal policies.

DCS No: 100039437; Inspector: Paul Dobsen; Written representations.

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