Dorville flats in deadlock
THE two-year delay over revamping a decaying hotel into flats looks set to continue as the council and a private developer have reached deadlock. The plan to turn the crumbling Dorville Hotel in Madeira Road, Weston, into 22 flats has been halted yet agai
THE two-year delay over revamping a decaying hotel into flats looks set to continue as the council and a private developer have reached deadlock.The plan to turn the crumbling Dorville Hotel in Madeira Road, Weston, into 22 flats has been halted yet again because of a row over parking access.North Somerset Council has demanded proof the developer, Connolly & Callaghan, has a legal right to use a private lane that runs along the side of the former hotel.The lane is vital to the proposal to build the flats as it leads to what the developer says would be an underground car park for residents.Council planning chiefs said unless the company can prove it can use the lane there could be no access to the car park. Without this, planning permission would be refused.The authority's west area planning committee made the decision at a meeting on April 20.Committee chairman Councillor John Crockford-Hawley said: "There is no desire by the council to frustrate the development and we want to see it go ahead. But we cannot give permission for 22 flats without parking."But the Bristol-based building company reacted furiously to the council's action by faxing a letter to council planning officers complaining about the way the application has been handled.Bosses from the firm said they 'consider the condition is unacceptable' and 'they expect the application to be determined without delay'. A Connolly & Callaghan spokesman said: "We believe we have provided sufficient proof to show we have access rights to the lane."The delay is frustrating."The council wants to see either a title deed or statement from the Highways Agency proving the company has access rights to the path.The original application to transform the hotel into flats was made in 2004. But a dispute over how much the building company should pay towards community facilities, in the form of a Section 106 payment, held the project up. A final sum of £109,000 has now been agreed.The company says the scheme would cost several million pounds and take between 18 months and two years to complete.