Hotel change of use is turned down by council

A REQUEST to turn a hotel on the seafront into lodgings has been rejected.

Arun District Council refused the change of use of the Belle Vue Hotel in Waterloo Square, Bognor Regis.

Planning officer Simon Davis said in his report the scheme failed to meet the council’s test for removing a hotel.

“No information has been submitted in respect of the viability of the hotel or attempts to market it as a hotel or for a different tourism use,” he said.

This was contrary to Arun’s land use blueprint because it was considered harmful to Bognor’s tourism trade.

The council’s planning policies insist any loss of a hotel must have proof the use was no longer viable and it was unlikely to be reused or redeveloped for visitor purposes.

It also states details of marketing, a viability appraisal and the suitability of the site to accommodate the alternative use have to be given.

Mr Davis said the council’s houses in multiple occupation officer stated the property was unlikely to be licensed for its proposed number of occupants.

As reported, Ray Heagarty submitted the application to cover the retrospective change of use of the building’s first and second floors into lodgings for 26 persons.

The first floor consists of ten bedrooms, two separate bathrooms, two separate toilets and a laundry room. The second floor has six bedrooms, a separate shower, separate toilet and two lobbies.

Bognor Regis Town Council objected to the proposal. It said the hotel’s loss would harm tourism and the building’s new use would be too crowded.

Approval for the hotel was given in 1959.