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Luxury flats bid refused

PUBLISHED: 15:56 20 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:36 03 July 2010

PLANS: A bid to convert the Hazelhurst Hotel into luxury apartments has failed.

PLANS: A bid to convert the Hazelhurst Hotel into luxury apartments has failed.

A SCHEME to convert a well-known Great Yarmouth hotel into 10 luxury apartments was shot down for a second time by borough councillors this week.

The 22-bedroom Hazelhurst Hotel, on Norfolk Square, is too valuable to lose as holiday stock, according to members of the development control committee who refused an application to convert the hotel into a mix of two and three bedroom apartments.

A SCHEME to convert a well-known Great Yarmouth hotel into 10 luxury apartments was shot down for a second time by borough councillors this week.

The 22-bedroom Hazelhurst Hotel, on Norfolk Square, is too valuable to lose as holiday stock, according to members of the development control committee who refused an application to convert the hotel into a mix of two and three bedroom apartments.

A similar application was refused in July but hotel owner Dexter Bowers was encouraged to resubmit plans after completing a survey on available hotel accommodation in the summer.

Mr Bowers surveyed 41 nearby hotels and guest houses over the peak school holidays and found there were only two days on the August bank holiday weekend where all the properties surveyed were full.

Mr Bowers' agent Simon Wheatman, director of Wheatman Planning, told committee members at Tuesday's meeting that the survey was carried out by logging the number of properties displaying vacancy signs after midday.

Conservative councillor George Jermany criticised the survey claiming it did not show an accurate picture of holiday accommodation. “Did you physically go in the hotels and ask how full they were? They could have been 90pc full,” he said.

Mr Wheatman said the survey was done purely on the basis if hotels and guest houses were displaying vacancy signs. He added his client had struggled to attract customers to the hotel, which was running at a loss.

The planning sub-committee of the Sharp project - a group tasked with regenerating the secondary holiday areas around Wellesley Road - opposed proposals claiming the development would not be acceptable for the area which is currently flooded with small bedsits and that large family premises would not be needed.

However Labour's Central and Northgate ward councillor Mick Castle disagreed and spoke in favour of the application.

He said: “Twenty years ago there would have been no vacancies signs in that area but over the last 20 years it has got worse. Changing this hotel to residential use would not be significantly detrimental to the holiday area in my view. It would not affect parking in the area because the hotel has 20 spaces which should be adequate.”

The application was refused 10 votes to two.

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