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Victory for flats appeal

PUBLISHED: 14:40 26 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:08 03 July 2010

A GREAT Yarmouth businessman has won his appeal to convert a landmark hotel into 10 luxury apartments, after local councillors had earlier refused proposals.

A GREAT Yarmouth businessman has won his appeal to convert a landmark hotel into 10 luxury apartments, after local councillors had earlier refused proposals.

Plans to convert the Hazelhurst Hotel were refused by the council development control committee last year over fears the conversion would result in the loss of valuable holiday stock.

Hotel owner Dexter Bowers appealed against the decision and the matter was transferred to the planning inspectorate.

A report by planning inspector Mike Moore concluded that conversion of the hotel would not conflict with the council's planning policies which aim to retain holiday accommodation.

The Norfolk Square hotel has historically been used as a commercial hotel, up until 2005 when it was let to other operators whose businesses subsequently failed.

In his report, Mr Moore says he realises the importance of the holiday industry on employment in the borough and the local economy but says there is sufficient holiday stock in the area.

He points to the council's support for a large casino development, including associated hotel. He said: “There would remain a considerable variety of accommodation in the area. I am not persuaded the conversion of the building would prejudice the council's regeneration or economic development objectives.”

When proposals went before the committee last July they were opposed by the Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority.

At the time Mr Bowers argued the property had operated as a commercial hotel serving workers from the oil and gas industry, not tourists, and quite often neighbouring hotels and guest houses were not full.

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