Campaigners who have fought to save the Grand Hotel on Sandown’s seafront have lost their battle, after planning permission was given to demolish the building as part of an outline planning application (what’s this?).
The application sought demolition of the existing three-storey 30-bedroom Art Deco style hotel, to be replaced with a new four-storey 30-bedroom hotel.
Mixed opinions on the development
A petition with 62 signatures from residents to ‘Save the Grand Hotel’, was submitted, but as it included no valid planning objections, it’s unclear whether the objections were taken into account.
Eleven of the 19 comments on the latest application were in favour of the demolition and development.
A decision to approve the application was made under delegated powers by planning officers.
“Another piece of Sandown’s history will be destroyed”
A spokesperson for those campaigning to save the hotel told OnTheWight,
“We are sad to see that another piece of Sandown’s social and architectual history will be destroyed. The owners have a history of buying buildings and allowing them to become derelict in a pattern we have seen at other iconic buildings on the Island.
“The history of PLUTO and the connection of the Grand Hotel to the Brown’s Golf course and the interior taken from the ship Aquitania will now be lost forever and we hope that the new hotel will actually be built, as none of the current owners actions result so far in any progress in either restoration or re build.
“We are really thankful for the help we had from the 20th Century Society and the 300+ supporters who helped try to save and revive the building, and although we have ultimately failed in our goal we have tried our best to save this Grand old building.”
The officer says in her report,
The existing building is considered to detract from the character and appearance of the area because of its physical condition, however, it has an important historical connection and an element of local identity whereby its loss can only be justified if the replacement would enhance to the extent that the impact could be justified.
The new plans do seem to be more in keeping with the art-deco theme than the previous, having also been reduced in height and length.
Previous plans to demolish the hotel were rejected by the Isle of Wight council in October 2013.
The reasons for refusal included, the loss of a prominent building, an unacceptable profile, failing to enhance or better reveal the significance of the surrounding heritage assets, an unacceptable and intrusive impact upon the character and appearance of the area and its scale and massing resulting in the proposed development having an overbearing and over dominant impact.
Outline planning permission
Applications for outline planning permission seek to establish whether the scale and nature of a proposed development would be acceptable to the local planning authority, before a fully detailed proposal is put forward.
Full details of the officer justification can be found below. Click on full screen icon to see larger version.
Image: © Google Streetview