Guest house owner’s fury at plans for Bexhill hotel

Planning application to build a hotel in Egerton Road: Tony Cunningham standing in front of the site where the proposed hotel would be built. SUS-160928-142033001

Planning application to build a hotel in Egerton Road: Tony Cunningham standing in front of the site where the proposed hotel would be built. SUS-160928-142033001

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A guest house owner says he will be forced out of business if the council approves controversial plans to build a 74 bedroom hotel in Bexhill.

Tony Cunningham, who owns Park Lodge in Egerton Road, says that plans to demolish 10-12 Egerton Road and replace the buildings with a five-storey hotel would harm his business, and have a negative impact on his neighbours.

Planning application to build a hotel in Egerton Road. Rear view of where the hotel will be built if it gets the go-ahead. SUS-160928-142138001

Planning application to build a hotel in Egerton Road. Rear view of where the hotel will be built if it gets the go-ahead. SUS-160928-142138001

He told the Observer: “It’s going to affect my business.

“I have had a little B&B here for a few years and it’s doing okay, but if that is built, I may as well shut my doors now.”

Another major issue is parking, as the hotel plans do not include any off-road parking provision.

Tony says illegal parking in Egerton Road is already a serious problem.

Tony Cunningham outside Park Lodge Hotel, Bexhill. SUS-160928-142005001

Tony Cunningham outside Park Lodge Hotel, Bexhill. SUS-160928-142005001

For several years, Tony has kept a dossier of dodgy parking and has made numerous complaints to Sussex Police and Rother District Council.

He said: “For the last four years, I have been complaining to police about parking on double yellow lines outside my guest house.

“The police pass me on to the council, the council pass me on to the police.

“Now the council is saying there’s enough parking for a 74 room hotel!”

Planning application to build a hotel in Egerton Road SUS-160928-142125001

Planning application to build a hotel in Egerton Road SUS-160928-142125001

He added: “It’s the most stupid application I have ever seen in my life.”

And Tony is not alone - around 60 other people have objected to the plans as the Observer went to press.

Objections include that the hotel would block out light to neighbouring properties and construction work and extra traffic generated from guests would pose a hazard for children.

Tony has organised a petition against the hotel plans, which has so far been signed by the residents in neighbouring flats.

The petitions will shortly be distributed to homes and businesses around Bexhill.

Tony said: “Everybody around here is going ballistic about it.

“Obviously it has not been passed yet, but we have got to stop it before the decision.”

Rother District Council’s planning committee will make a decision on the plans at a later date.

Meanwhile Tony says the council failed to display public notices informing residents about the hotel plans - until he phoned them.

The application was validated on September 14, but planning notices only went up on Tuesday, the day after Tony’s call.

He said: “They should have had public notices out from day one, and they have not.”

An RDC spokesman said: “Although the application was submitted in mid-August it did not contain all the information necessary for it to be formally registered.

“On receipt of additional information, the application was finally accepted as valid from September 14.

“Once validated, the application appeared on the council’s weekly list of applications on September 20 and was published in the local newspaper on September 23.

“It is not unusual, for practical reasons, for the pink notices to appear later and whatever publicity occurs the statutory period of consultation begins at the latter date.”

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