Sidmouth hotelier warns of threat to hotel beds
Sidmouth hoteliers potentially face the most serious threat to the volume of hotel bedrooms in recent history
SIDMOUTH hoteliers potentially face the most serious threat to the volume of hotel bedrooms in recent history.
Mark Seward, retiring president of Sidmouth and District Hospitality Association, declared this at the association’s annual meeting on Tuesday, saying he “firmly believed” this because of the threat to the tourism planning policy element now being faced at the Fortfield Hotel site, which could set a dangerous precedent if lost.
“East Devon planners have, for many years, protected the tourism heart of Sidmouth with a specific policy to ensure properties are not sold off to developers,” he said.
“I have heard the word ‘sacrosanct’ used in the past. This came about as a reaction to the considerable reduction in businesses from the late 1960’s.”
You may also want to watch:
He said the Fortfield Hotel was one of the finest historic hotels sitting within the boundary of that policy area.
“We will soon see whether pressure on the planners and clever manipulation of the policy wording, including ‘viability’ will permit the building of predominantly residential dwellings.”
- 1 New owner sought for prominent Sidmouth seafront businesses
- 2 Supermarket chain planning four new stores in East Devon
- 3 It's official - Devon is one of the most popular places to live
- 4 Sporting tribute to club stalwart from grateful members
- 5 Fundraiser makes brief stop on charity trek
- 6 Organisers thrilled with super science festival turnout
- 7 'More visible' speed limit signs to be installed on A375 Sidbury Hill
- 8 Alderman honour for councillor devoted to serving community
- 9 Elusive mackerel still popping up for Devon anglers
- 10 Woman flown to hospital after fall
He said “lip-service” was being paid to holiday accommodation with a few flats at the rear of the building with no sea view, and said how hard, as seafront hoteliers, it was to rent rooms that didn’t face the sea.
“I put it to association members and the townsfolk of Sidmouth that if planners yield on this site, that others will follow.
“It will be interesting to see how they could stop a seafront hotelier from allowing their business to fall into gradual disrepair, followed by closure, boarding up and squatters.
“The final piece of the lucrative jigsaw would see a wealthy developer, and a barrister specialising in proving lack of ‘viability’. Only time will tell.”
*Should the tourism element of planning policy at the Fortfield site be upheld? Log on to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk to make your comments.