Plans to refurbish and convert vacant Bexhill pub

The Sussex Hotel, in London Road, has been boarded up SUS-190626-104920001
The Sussex Hotel, in London Road, has been boarded up SUS-190626-104920001

Developers have put forward plans to convert and refurbish a former pub and hotel in Bexhill, creating 10 residential flats in the process.

In an application to Rother District Council, developer Fondare Developments Limited are seeking planning permission to extend and refurbish the Sussex Hotel in London Road, which was repossessed and shuttered in June.

Through the application, the developer says it wants to find a new business to take over the ground floor pub as well as close the hotel rooms and create 10 self-contained flats in their place. 

In a statement submitted to council planners, a spokesman for the developer said: “The ground floor is currently being retained as a commercial use, and marketing for the lease of these premises will commence shortly.

“With that in mind, it is preferable for it not to continue as a public house, but rather a restaurant or wine bar, or other commercial uses depending on interest and subject to the usual consents.

“It is quite clear that this property is unsustainable as a hotel … as can be evidenced in a report from the marketing agents, Savills, depicting their data ahead of our purchase. 

“The public house has had multiple reports of unruly and anti-social behaviour towards local residents, and the building needs a drastic overhaul of image to remove this clientele.

“Alternative uses to the pub/hotel will support growth in the area … while the proposed flats will provide living accommodation for single persons, working couples or small families, which will culturally be a better space for the end users and the existing locals.”

Also the building’s owners, Fondare Developments Limited say the building has been left in a poor condition by the previous tenants, saying ‘it is in no fit state for an instant re-market as a pub/hotel and therefore, due to insurance and security, has been boarded and stripped.’

The application also includes plans for a three-storey extension to the existing building, which would be used both for the creation of new flats and a storeroom for the ground floor business.

According to the plans, the 10 flats would be made up of eight one-bedroom flats and two two-bedroom flats, each with their own kitchens, bathrooms and living areas.

The work would also upgrade the design of the existing building, the application says, making it more sustainable and environmentally-friendly.

However, the application has seen some concerns raised by local residents. These concerns relate to parking and access to the site, both by emergency services and construction vehicles.

Concerns have also been raised about whether noise reduction measures would be included as part of the refurbishment. 

For further details see application reference RR/2019/1693/P on the Rother District Council website.

Huw Oxburgh , Local Democracy Reporting Service