Fortfield Hotel site-public exhibition planned

PUBLISHED: 12:31 19 July 2009 | UPDATED: 09:42 18 June 2010

A PUBLIC exhibition exploring the re-development of a derelict Sidmouth hotel will be held this month. Andrew Torjussen, owner of the Fortfield Hotel, in partnership with Laishley Devlopments Ltd, will be holding the public consultation to gauge public op

A PUBLIC exhibition exploring the re-development of a derelict Sidmouth hotel will be held this month.

Andrew Torjussen, owner of the Fortfield Hotel, in partnership with Laishley Devlopments Ltd, will be holding the public consultation to gauge public opinion before the submission of a planning application.

The once popular hotel has fallen into a state of disrepair since it closed three-and-a-half years ago.

It has been condemned by several neighbours as an eyesore and many people have long called for action to be taken to improve the situation.

Richard Smith, Land and Planning Director for Laishley Developments, said: "It is such a pity when important buildings, such as the Fortfield Hotel, fall into disrepair and as a result encourages anti-social and thoughtless behaviour.

"It is our intention to deliver a new building that mirrors the former grace and charm of the Fortfield Hotel and gives the town a building to be proud of again."

Currently the Fortfield Hotel is surrounded by metal fencing, has several smashed windows and roof tiles as well as overgrown shrubbery.

Since its closure the police have received scores of reports of vandalism and trespassing in the grounds-leading to fears that the site is a potential hazard.

Mr Torjussen, who has always maintained the necessary security measures are in place, has been looking at different ways to re-develop the site since it closed.

Three applications have been drawn up in this time, one of which was withdrawn and the other two refused.

But subject to the outcome of the public consultation plans to re-develop the site could soon move ahead, and if talks with planners go well the work could start in Spring 2010.

The public exhibition will be held at the Manor Pavilion Arts Centre on Thursday, July 30 from 2pm-7pm.


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