Seafront flats bid for hotel annexe tagged 'an eyesore' by owner
PUBLISHED: 12:15 10 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:11 10 October 2019
The owner of a troubled seafront hotel looks set to win planning permission to turn part of it into flats.
Janak Masrani's proposal is to convert one of two buildings which make up The Sea Princess Hotel in North Drive into homes.
Under the plan a three-story annexe containing 20 of the hotel's 61 rooms will be redeveloped.
A design and access statement submitted as part of the planning application states the roof and most of the rooms are in need of complete repair.
It goes on: "With the amount of profits made it is impossible to cover any 'wear and tear' let alone any badly needed renovations to keep in line as to what the tourists need and the expectations of Great Yarmouth Borough Council as decent accommodation.
"Please refer to comments made on Trip Advisor and Booking.com - The Sea Princess Hotel is badly in need of repair and renovations."
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It goes on to suggest sales from the new flats will drive investment in the main hotel, adding: "At the moment both buildings are an eyesore."
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A similar scheme was refused in 2017 but the new application for one fewer dwelling looks to have found favour, with the borough council's development control committee being recommended to approve the bid when it meets on Wednesday (October 16).
A report to planners notes the building's "unkempt" appearance and suggests the proposed changes would be an improvement.
It says: "The appearance of the building as existing does not provide an attractive addition to the area and could be said to detract from nearby buildings' visual appeal.
"The existing building, not solely looking at the unkempt appearance, has no stand out redeeming features and as such the remodel of the external appearance can be supported."
An objection from neighbouring Esplanade Court, said to be on behalf of seven flats there, raises concerns about the "serious impact" both during and after construction, and the loss of parking spaces.
Last month an investigation by this newspaper revealed 23 reports were made to environmental health officers at Great Yarmouth Borough Council (GYBC) between June 2017 and May 2019.
Two of them referred to bedbugs which Mr Masrani said were bought in by guests.