A former hotel which had been lying derelict since a fire in 2006 has received a new lease of life.
The Cambridge Hotel had been an eyesore in the town for many years and subject to complaints from neighbours.
Plans to demolish the Edwardian building and construct a new block of flats in its place were campaigned fiercely against and eventually blocked in 2008, although a government inspector did overturn that decision in 2010.
Before that time, it was used as a hostel for DSS claimants until it was closed down in a joint operation between police, the fire service and environmental health for a catalogue of complaints.
It was eventually destroyed by fire in 2006.
Re-named Gilbert House, the former hotel in Cambridge Road has now been converted into a series of luxury studio and one-bedroom flats.
Cllr Steve Wallis, representing Devonshire Ward, said, “I see this development from a former derelict hotel into flats for people to live in as a positive move.
“There was planning permission granted, from memory via the Planning Inspectorate, to demolish the building and replace it with a modern block, which had it happened would of been out of character to the neighbourhood.
“I am pleased that the developers opted to refurbish the Edwardian building and offer it a new lease of life.
“An historic building has been retained, homes provided and more people moving into the area who will use local services and shops, all good news for this part of Devonshire.”
The conversion to flats has been managed by the Olivia Group, a Sussex development company that was founded in 1998.
David Phillips, the company director, said, “The Olivia Group is immensely proud to have been able to bring this wonderful building back to life, thereby enhancing the general ambience of the area.
“The extensive works that have been carried out now ensure the longevity of these period buildings and offer units of quality and style to rent at affordable prices.”
The studio flats are available to let from £400 - £500 per calendar month, with the one bedroom apartments renting between £600 - £650.
For more information, call Leaders on 01323 431333 or visit the agent’s shop on South Street.