Ventnor Winter Gardens: See The Preliminary Plans

See the details of the proposed plans for the Winter Gardens

The preliminary plans for the changes to Ventnor’s Winter Gardens have been made available to the Public online.

Ventnor Winter Gardens: Prelimary PlansA quick look at them reveal ambitious plans to expand to, what looks like, double its current width, with the addition of 37 hotel rooms, increasing the building by 1,602 sq metres.

The details … and plans
The auditorium is retained with four different layouts illustrated – Cinema; Banquet; Conference and Catwalk. The banquet layout shows 22 tables, each of ten seated guests.

There are two eateries shown, an 80 cover restaurant on the first floor and a 68 cover bistro on the ground floor.

Fifteen parking places are mentioned in the plans.

The application, received by the council on 7 December 2011, is in the name of Kevin Sussmilch, who is widely understood to be the investor in this project and the Hambrough.

The Hambrough Group was granted an option by Cllr George Brown to buy the Winter Gardens back in September 2011.

Current vs Proposed
Below we’ve roughly cut the front elevations from the current and proposed plans submitted to the council, so you can get some idea of the proposed changes to the width. For a full idea what’s being proposed, check the plans embedded below.

Ventnor Winter Gardens: Prelimary Plans

The preliminary plans

Updated 13:25: Added links to history stories and added some background.

Friday, 20th January, 2012 12:53pm



Filed under: Isle of Wight News, Planning, Tourism, Ventnor

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44 Comments on "Ventnor Winter Gardens: See The Preliminary Plans"

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Looks good, can see some people not liking it, but I think that overall its a good plan and good use of the space. Hopefully they will be able to bring back some of the original styling of the venue when it first opened.

? A Banquet Hall that seats 220=15 parking spaces? ? A theatre withd reduced changing rooms? ? A chef in charge of all of this? Ventnor limited parking facilities are a disgrace to begin with.The people that do support Ventnor are charged for parking, fines if they stay more than 30 mins. I believe now Thursday afternoon parking is free, I would assume possibly to accommodate those… Read more »
steve s

One thing you can be quite sure of: There will ALWAYS be some people who don’t like it. ;-)


This may be a poor comparison but the proposed extensions on the North and South elevation drawings seem to lack visual symmetry to my untutored eyes.
The De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill seems to do ‘bulk’ and symmetry in a more balanced and visually pleasing manner.


In my opinion, it lacks character and looks like a modern office block. Modern buildings look a bit of an eyesore in a Victorian town such as Ventnor and do nothing to enhance the surroundings. A Victorian or Edwardian style of building would have been more appropriate.

given how much of the original they are retaining, Im forced to disagree. It seems like a very considerate sensible plan especially given that it would probably be far cheaper to knock it down and start again. if it does look a bit modern, so what? its about time the island was dragged kicking and screaming out of the past, and this is one small step. Thank… Read more »

It will be one small step for Ventnor, one giant leap for the Island.

Sally Perry
I disagree that it looks like an office block. My first impressions are that it looks very elegant and sympathetic to the original design. The architect has done some fantastic stuff in the past (award-winning) and I have no doubt that it will be a quality development. Regarding the symmetry of the building, as we won’t be be able to view it head on as we can… Read more »

wont do any harm for people to park in the town and walk.

Linda Chester
No it wouldn’t IF they can find somewhere to park…parking is a real issue in Ventnor(see previous post on VB re VTC meeting on 30th Jan) and I hope that this planning permission will be the catalist to really address this. We live in the age of the motor car (like it or not) and for a business to survive in any town there needs to be… Read more »
Jenniann Davies

Plans look ok, its the parking that worries me? And the fact that there are no other recreational facilities, this would have been a much better option than a hotel and restaurant, people wont use it if there is nothing to do?


In a modern setting the building would probably look fine, although in my opinion, modern style structures built in the middle of Victorian, Edwardian and other historic towns, not only look out of place but ruin the character of the town.

Sally Perry

The original design of the Winter Gardens is not Victorian or Edwardian, it is Modernist, which is the same as the redevelopment so it should fit in just fine.

steve s

I wonder if the Romans said something like that when the Georgians moved into Bath. :-s


god forbid anyone ever changes the style of buildings in ventnor. I wonder what people said about all those old tudor buildings when the georgians and victorians demolished them and built something else? I suspect “good, something modern and functional” may have crossed peoples lips.

of course you can carry on living in the past. thankfully there are a few people of vision around.


You are being very presumptious. Just because I’m not a fan of modern architecture, does not suggest I’m living in the past. You could say somebody who prefers old music or art is living in the past, which is just silly.

in the context of the conversation, its not presumtuous at all to say that. the conversation is about buildings, and my comment is about your attitude to buildings. dont read more into it, because theres not more there. it comes down to this; should the building be allowed to rot or should it be improved and used. I would much rather the second. Some people would rather… Read more »

I think an appreciation of historic architecture, music, art, literature etc should be encouraged not derided.


theres no derision of any sort, simply disagreement. i see no reason why people cant appreciate old buildings and new developments, and certainly no reason why a mixture of the two shouldnt happen. its not derisive to point out that its better for people to redevelop a building than let it rot, even if its not to everyones personal taste.

L Pinkerton

I thoroughly agree. It is a very clean, crisp extension to the original building which should also make it cost effective in a revenue sense. In any case the southern elevation will only be seen by passing channel ferries. The De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on Sea is a largely different concept on a flat site. I like the design.

Mr Justice

Love it. This looks like a terrific chance for Ventnor to have a stylish world class hotel, restaurant and auditorium complex.

Let’s hope it can be delivered. It is very exciting and exactly what this Island needs more of in the 21st Century.


“A chance for Ventnor to have a stylish world class hotel, restaurant and auditorium complex”.

All very well, but I wonder whether the new style Winter Gardens will be an affordable place for everybody to enjoy or a place of luxury designed for celebs, business clients, those in authority and the wealthy?


Looks lovely..but noone will go there because there will be no where to park….I didn’t buy a house in Ventnor two years ago because of parking, wack this lot on as well and Ventnor will become a merry go round of cars going round and round trying to find parking

Steephill Jack

Did you notice that the Hillside Hotel was recently voted the second best in the UK, based on customer comments ?
Now you want a world class hotel and restaurant as well ?!!!


Reading the Theatre Report (pages 30-32) I am concerned that it states that the auditorium is not suitable for amatuer theatre groups. And that the reduction of dressing rooms from 4 to 2 is inadequate for these types of shows. All my fears realised.


This is a very professional and clever set of plans. I did not think they would retain so much of the original structure. The best stability report I have ever seen for an Island project. I can wait to sample the restaurant.Pity about the car parking losses.

Yep fully agree this does not look good in fact for any loacal island groups to put more than a small play or smaller scale production with few cast! It seems that whilst Ventnor will gain a hotel and restraunts which will be great for ventnor im sure -ventnor has lost its theatre potential and probably its community users and i dont see it will be able… Read more »

ventnor lost that when they failed to support the theatre whilst it was open

Winter Gardens Ghost
Does this mean that all the work on the ground stability all those years ago was incorrect. I understood, from viewing the surveys at the coastal centre in Dudley Road, that the Winter Gardens eastern site was in the red zone. – an area never to be built on as unstable. Won’t the proposals to build a four storey structure on the eastern side go against everything… Read more »

My thoughts exactly. I do wonder whether it is wise to build a four storey extension onto the side of the existing building considering the instability of the land.

Looks good – modern and blending seamlessly with the previous build. For those on this forum suggesting that the building should be Edwardian in design, well firstly, the original building wasn’t Edwardian, and secondly, the reason why there’s so many hideous clone council estates on the Island (and throughout the UK) is down to the fact that builders are unwilling to adopt anything slightly modern and ultimately… Read more »

*end up*


plans, plans plans, add to the Ventnor wish list,please people of Ventnor WAKE-UP , WHITE-EL.HEHEHE

L Pinkerton

None of this stops a future development of the South side of Dudley Road from Devonshire Terrace to thr car park or further. However, it does preserve and improve a key feature of Ventnor’s sea front.

Ann Hutchins
I have read the planning application for the Winter Gardens, some parts several times. I am not a surveyor so will not attempt to comment on the technical side of the argument. I offer guest accommodation in Ventnor and I just know how I feel. I believe that the WG needs to be developed, reopened and back in service as quick as possible, It is doing nothing… Read more »
Janet Scott

Probably not a viable idea, but what about a multi-storey car park where the bus depot was in Pier St.( Instead of more flats, hence more cars).

Ann Hutchins

I dont know if that is a viable idea or not Janet, but it is a positive idea that could help!

Janet Scott

Thank you Ann.

I don’t think we need any more flats/office/retail in Pier st.
If only we could attract an entrepreneur to invest in that space as a multi storey car park it would alleviate parking problems AND benefit the proposed new ‘Winter Gardens’.

Mr.Kevin Sussmilch….Please can YOU help our Town ?

Steephill Jack

I think there will be money to be made from extra parking places. But will it be IoW Council or a private initiative ? Wait and see.

bill smith
I have just spent an interesting hour or so looking at the proposals for the Winter Gardens, being the first I have seen of them. The over riding visual development criteria must be, to the exclusion of all other considerations, the maintenance/enhancement of the prevailing atmosphere and tone of the town and the Island as a whole. Personally, and I may well speak for many on this,… Read more »
I agree that the parking is an issue for this proposed development and to the town in general, but I am in favour of this development. There is an investor willing to invest a huge amount of money in this and take on all the risks this will bring. I think they should be supported by locals in favour of this, so what if it attracts well… Read more »

What a great opportunity for Ventnor. The Winter Gardens lies in such a unique spot that this is bound to attract attention. It will offer a different art-deco experience to other (delightfully) Victorian hotels such as Royal, so there is a space for it.

It the current climate such a large and brave investment should be welcomed with open arms.


Interesting to re-read this thread in the light of the current apparent stalemate….