Isle of Wight hotel hit by Covid seeks permission to convert into flats

Agents for the application said the seafront hotel business had been detrimentally impacted by Covid and the redevelopment would help address the Island’s housing need

esplanade hotel shanklin - the plans

A hotel that has felt the full force of the Covid pandemic is asking for permission to be turned into flats, one with a holiday use.

The Esplanade Hotel on Shanklin Esplanade has submitted an application to the Isle of Wight Council asking to change the hotel into mostly residential accommodation.

No bookings for 2020
Planning documents say the hotel has not had a booking in 2020, due to the fact that it is predominately a dormitory-style hotel, with bunk beds provided in rooms for school bookings.

With Covid restrictions affecting the nation at the moment, it is unlikely schools will be able to go on overnight stays for the foreseeable future, slashing the Esplanade Hotel’s chances of large bookings.

“Would help address the Island’s housing need”
Agents for the application, Phil Salmon Planning, said the seafront hotel business had been detrimentally impacted from the change in holiday trends and the redevelopment would help address the Island’s housing need.

The owner of the hotel, and the applicant for the development, a Mr Thornton, said the limited or just-viable business that existed before the Covid lockdown will not return.

Internal renovation and repair
The application says the building requires significant internal renovation, repair and upgrading to fulfil any future use, as the existing standard is no longer acceptable for modern requirements — which would not be viable for the future of the business.

The hotel could be turned into one four-bed holiday apartment on the ground floor, two residential flats and a townhouse to the rear of the building.

Balconies would be added to the front of the building on the upper floors.

To view, or comment, on the proposals 20/01648/FUL, you can visit the Isle of Wight Council’s planning portal.

This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some alterations and additions may be been made by OnTheWight. Ed

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4 Comments on "Isle of Wight hotel hit by Covid seeks permission to convert into flats"

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Clearly the old island hotels can rest on their laurels no longer; they need to do more than merely relying on large coach parties who pay pittance and are satisfied with 2* accommodation. To survive, island hotels need to take pride and invest in their properties, working to bring their accommodation up to a standard fit for the 21st century. However with increasing numbers old island hotels… Read more »
Benny C
Spot on. The shabby 1990’s approach, depressingly proud and prevalent in so many of these places, would have finished them off eventually regardless of the virus. Their customer base is waning and they’re doing way too little to address that. Lazy, complacent or daft, who knows, but it’s happening. Too much miserly greed to invest wisely, too much here and now thinking to avoid long term decline.… Read more »
These “old Island hotels” survived because many holidaymakers came over in parties, or couples, or individually to visit a lovely Isle of Wight, with loads of holidaymaker facilities and places to visit which interested them. Now, there are loads of 2nd homes, lodges, staycations, camping sites, etc. etc., plus many people moving from the mainland, so hotel owners don’t stand much of a good income these days.… Read more »
Benny C
Exactly. Didn’t move with the times or adapt, expected the world to come to them and obey. The bar was being raised all over Europe and the U.K. decades ago with the arrival of EasyJet. Customers moved on to better, more relevant options. We’re all like that. Winning new income, an essential part of any business model to replace inevitable losses along the way, was not high… Read more »