Council to buy hotel?

A DILAPIDATED Clevedon hotel could be compulsory purchased by the council unless its owners carry out urgent repair work to the building

A DILAPIDATED Clevedon hotel could be compulsory purchased by the council unless its owners carry out urgent repair work to the building.In a report to North Somerset Council's planning and regulatory committee, officers put forward a series of recommendations to secure improvements to the former Royal Pier Hotel at Marine Parade.The hotel owners were granted permission to extend and alter the Grade II listed building into 17 new apartments with basement car parking in 2003.But they have yet to start work and are now understood to be drawing up a revised scheme for 27 flats. The hotel has now fallen into a bad state of repair and concerns have been raised about its structural condition.Only recently squatters moved into the hotel - along with the pigeons and beetles already infesting the building.The council has already issued the owner Mr Hill with a section 330 notice asking him to provide information about the background and current condition of the building.Mr Hill has 21 days to reply to the notice and risks a fine or court conviction if he fails to do so.If no reply is forthcoming from Mr Hill and repairs are still not carried out, the council can consider a series of options - including the compulsory purchase of the building.It could also organise to carry out the repairs itself - estimated at about £20,000 - then recover the cost from the owner.Planning and regulatory committee chairman Peter Burden said: "We have options open to us including carrying out the work ourselves or a compulsory purchase order."However these are not the roads we want to go down."The council's primary concern is to make sure the building is safe."This saga has been dragging on for a very long time and it is a pity that delays have been caused by certain organisations intervening at the earlier planning application stage."A spokesman for North Somerset Council said: "A progress report will be brought to the next meeting of the planning and regulatory committee on August 15."In the meantime officers will carry out the preparatory work needed incase an urgent works notice needs to be issued."A spokesman for Scott, Browning and Turner, who represent the Hill family, said: "I understand a new planning application is being drawn up for the Royal Pier Hotel.

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