Hotel plagued by squatters plans to convert to 20 flats
PUBLISHED: 10:00 16 September 2012
A DISUSED Weston hotel which has been an 'eyesore' and a home for squatters and drug problems over the past seven years could be converted into apartments.
Pegasus Planning Group will submit plans to North Somerset Council to change the empty Dorville Hotel in Madeira Road into a mix of about 20 one, two and three-bedroom flats on behalf of its owners Connolly and Callaghan.
Pegasus director Daniel Weaver said: “It has become an eyesore. It has had problems with squatters on a long-term basis, or worse.
“It is a constant source of trouble for the police and the council.
“Our guys have been called down regularly from Bristol to deal with problems with drugs.
“The development has been vacant for seven years and it is getting worse and worse and we are looking at making the best use of the space there.”
In 2007, Connolly and Callaghan made an application to convert the Dorville but the use of a lane alongside the hotel proved to be a stumbling block because the council demanded proof the company had the legal right to use it.
It would have been used to access an underground car park, but the lane will not be a feature of the new application, a spokesman for Pegasus said, because it would not be viable to blast into the bedrock beneath the hotel to create the car park.
Some residents are worried the hotel’s conversion, along with plans for 41 flats at the Lynton House Hotel in the same road, could create parking problems if extra spaces are not provided.
The Lynton’s application was passed by the Planning Inspectorate despite making no on-site parking provisions.
The original plans, submitted in 2009, said: “Adequate roadside spaces are typically available close to the site, such that additional parking demands are likely to be absorbed without any discernible change to the character of the area and without compromising road safety or convenience.”
Madeira Road resident Roger Tully said if both hotels do become apartments without a significant provision for parking, it could create problems.
He said: “There are likely to be about 60 new cars all trying to park in the streets around the Madeira Road and South Road area.
“I know there is a pay-and-display car park in Madeira Road but why should local residents have to pay and also worry about their cars getting vandalised?
“Parking is an issue, especially with pay machines being put into the streets now. I don’t want to walk miles from my house to park my car.
“If the plans for The Dorville are passed without any parking provisions as well, there are going to be too many cars in the area.”
Mr Weaver responded to the concerns. He said: “We are considering it (parking), we are meeting with the local authority next week.
“We will try to provide some parking if we can, but it’s so constrained and we can’t knock anything down.”