Seafront hotel will finally become residential flats

Heatherleigh Hotel in Eastbourne undergoing refurbishment 4/5/16 (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Heatherleigh Hotel in Eastbourne undergoing refurbishment 4/5/16 (Photo by Jon Rigby)

Developers have been successful in a long standing wrangle with Eastbourne council over turning a seafront hotel into residential flats.

Councillors had insisted if the disused Heatherleigh Hotel in Royal Parade was to be converted into flats, a certain number would have to be holiday lets – in keeping with the authority’s strict tourist accommodation policy.

But conversion works with a holiday let element didn’t attract finance or interest and at a meeting last week councillors agreed to remove any conditions that there should be tourist accommodation and rubber stamped plans for 24 flats.

The residential only option had the backing of the council’s planning officers and the Eastbourne Hospitality Association.

A council planning spokesperson said, “The application had supporting information outlining that the site has been actively marketed for holiday accommodation without any success and local specialist agents have recommended the likelihood of securing funding/purchaser for these holiday units is remote.
“The applicant’s also endorse the view of the Eastbourne Hospitality Association in that the site has been vacant for nearly a decade and as such has not contributed to the local holiday accommodation market and for the council to continue to insist on the potential of holiday accommodation at the site may well result in this building on this prominent site falling further into disrepair.”

The building will now be converted into one and two bedroom flats.