Hotel plan go-ahead
CONTROVERSIAL plans to redevelop a dilapidated Clevedon hotel have been given the green light - despite a last minute objection by conservation watchdogs
CONTROVERSIAL plans to redevelop a dilapidated Clevedon hotel have been given the green light - despite a last minute objection by conservation watchdogs.English Heritage submitted late concerns about the plans to redevelop the Royal Pier Hotel at Marine Parade into 27 flats, claiming it felt the scale of the extension to the rear of the building was still too large.The move prompted planning officers to change their recommendation from approving the scheme to deferring it while more information on the proposals were sought.But councillors ignored the officers' recommendation and went ahead and approved the development, saying the decision had already taken too long to reach a conclusion.North Somerset Council's north area planning committee chairman John Clark said: "The majority of councillors felt we had procrastinated enough about this application and that a decision had to be made."The building has been an eyesore for a long time and was becoming more dilapidated as the years went by. A decision on its future had to be made."English Heritage were not entirely happy with the scale of the development, but it still has the right to call for a public inquiry."English Heritage was not the only organisation to object to the plans. The Victorian Society raised concerns, saying that 'listed buildings can be robbed of their special interest as surely by unsuitable alteration as by outright demolition.'The Clevedon Pier Trust also raised concerns, saying the large extension planned for the rear of the building would have an overbearing effect on the Grade I listed pier.Planning permission to redevelop the hotel into 17 flats with underground parking was granted in 2003. Clevedon Civic Society president Carole Wring said: "We hope the developer will now get on with the work and the building will not be left to rot for a further three years.