Two town councillors have expressed their disappointment that a seafront hotel looks set to become flats.
The comments follow a series of local reports that The Royal Hotel, with consent for 20 luxury apartments, has been sold.
Jim Brooks said: “For the regeneration we have been told we need a hotel and yet this one has been let go.
“In my opinion it is one of the nicest buildings we have got and I still hope it will be something other than flats.
“An artist centre, where they could stay and make use of the light we have got would be great.”
He added: “The only thing I welcome is that it won’t go into disrepair.”
Mr Brooks’ comments reflect the views of cllr Jan Cosgrove.
Calling visitors ‘the town’s lifeblood’, Mr Cosgrove has highlighted the seafront property as an opportunity to enable ‘local young people’ to obtain ‘hands-on training’ if it remained as a hotel.
He said: “The new owners should look at the idea of a high-quality catering training establishment.
“This is a beautifully-located fine old property, and I would advocate it be run as a hotel at high-quality with young people apprenticed, local young people to the fore,” added Mr Cosgrove.
“Not only would it add additional hotel places, at a time when there has been continuing Bourne Leisure investment in on-site visitor accommodation, it would become a unique national focus, an ongoing asset to Bognor Regis.”
He also referenced the inclusion of flats in the proposed regeneration plans for The Regis Centre and Hothamton sites as reason The Royal Hotel should offer something else.
He stated: “I see a renewed, up-graded Royal as a premier destination on the seafront, not another anonymous block of flats. Seafront commerce is a lifeblood, that area is neglected in regeneration terms.”
The Royal Hotel’s owner has confirmed ‘options are being considered’ following ‘lots of interest’ and that the hope is to confirm the sale soon.