Hotel plan on course for approval

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A new 65-bedroom hotel in the former Co-op building in Eastbourne looks set to be given the go ahead next week.

Premier Inns is behind the planning application for the empty department store on the corner of Terminus Road, Trinity Trees and Seaside Road.

If it is given the green light by town planners next week, there will be shops and a restaurant on the ground floor with a 65 bed hotel on the floors above.

Planning officers say the conversion of the store will be positive and will have a huge benefit to the local economy providing much needed tourist accommodation as well as jobs and refurbish a building in such a prominent town centre position.

There will not be any parking spaces on the site but officers say there is a bus stop outside the building and it is also near the railway station and taxi ranks.

A council officer said, “The conversion of the old department store refurbishes a building with significant character in a prominent location and will provide a boost for the local economy as currently the site lies vacant and a 65-bed hotel will provide extra tourist accommodation as well as much needed jobs. We recommend permission should be granted.”

The landmark building has been empty since the Co-operative Group shut its doors in 2006.

Originally built in the 1930s, the Art Deco building operated as a shop until it closed after the Co-operative Group announced poor trading performances. Its 16 staff were offered redundancy packages.

Despite the best efforts of council officials from the town’s economic development, the building has remained empty and derelict – until the latest planning application, which was submitted in February.

A spokesperson for Premier Inn said, “We propose to extend and refurbish the existing building and the aim of the development is to improve and enhance the character of the building and the local environment with the recycling of the existing building accommodation in order to provide a commercially viable development.”

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