Plans lodged to partially convert historical Ottery hotel into flats

Blackdown House, East Devon District Council's Honiton headquarters. Picture: Dan WIlkins

Blackdown House, East Devon District Council's Honiton headquarters. Picture: Dan WIlkins - Credit: Archant

Plans have been lodged to convert a semi-redundant Ottery pub into five flats.

The application, for the Kings Arms Hotel in Gold Street, seeks to retain the existing bar, lounge and skittle alley at the premises.

If approved, the hotel’s pool room, kitchen and prep area would be converted into a two-bed flat, while retaining the lounge bar, public bar and skittle alley and three sets of toilets.

Four letting bedrooms, a bar and function room would be transformed into two two-bed flats, a further three letting rooms into one two-bed flat and three staff bedrooms into a one-bed flat.

A design and access statement for the plans said: “In line with many similar public houses locally and nationally, the pub and hotel operation have struggled to viably operate for many years.

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“Prior to the Covid-19 closedown, the pub was operating at a low level on a short-term licence, but the hotel rooms were not in use.

“This is both an issue of demand for such accommodation in a competitive market, exacerbated by such operations as Airbnb and the long-standing building condition.

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“The level of projected revenue is inadequate to service the finance required to renovate the building.”

The existing rear courtyard would be used to provide one parking space per flat, plus two visitor and two spaces for the pub.

The plans said the listed status of the building, its deteriorating condition and the ‘inability’ of the hotel use to provide a ‘viable basis for the long-term renovation and maintenance of the building’, changes need to be made.

The Kings Arms dates back to the 18th Century and is Grade II listed.

The statement said: “It is imperative that alternative uses that can generate sufficient funds to enable proper renovation to be undertaken is identified.

“With the current metrics of the local property market, it is believed that only residential conversion would facilitate this.”

The plans said the proposal would bring a redundant and derelict part of an existing listed building into effective use, ensuring its upkeep and will not cause any detrimental impact on the owners.

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