'Hotel is a disgrace'

A VIGOROUS letter writing campaign has been launched in a bid to lobby for the urgent redevelopment of a dilapidated

A VIGOROUS letter writing campaign has been launched in a bid to lobby for the urgent redevelopment of a dilapidated Clevedon hotel.The Friends of the Royal Pier Hotel are writing to North Somerset Council urging it to issue an urgent works notice on the landmark Grade I listed building.Owner of the hotel, Harvey Hill, was given permission last September to develop it into 27 luxury flats.But despite pressure from councillors, local residents and action groups, work has yet to start.The hotel has now become a target for vandals and arsonists.A spokesman for the Friends of the Royal Pier Hotel said: "We are urging local people to write to North Somerset Council requesting that it serve an urgent works notice."This step would force the current owner to repair and care for the hotel, which has become increasingly dilapidated since it was saved from demolition five years ago."The move has been backed by The Victorian Society which has described the state of the seafront building as a 'disgrace'.Victorian Society director Dr Ian Dungavell said: "This is a nationally significant building, but it has been left to rot like garden waste."The people of Clevedon showed how much they valued the building when they campaigned to save it five years ago."Now they are having to fight all over again."We urge North Somerset Council to listen.The letter writing campaign comes at the same time as Clevedon piermistress Linda Strong has launched a petition calling for work to start on the building.More than 400 people, including visitors to the Victorian pier, pledged their support in just two days.Mr Hill said he hoped work would start on building the flats in the summer.He said: "We are hoping to start work in July and a sale board will be going up this week to advertise the flats."The working drawings are being prepared as we speak.

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