PLANS to convert a hotel in Boscombe which “is not financially viable” into six holiday flats have been submitted.

PLANS to convert a hotel in Boscombe which “is not financially viable” into six holiday flats have been submitted.

Lodged with Bournemouth Council earlier this week, the application puts forward a proposal to convert the Saxonhurst Hotel in Sea Road into apartments for tourists.

The building has not been used as a hotel since early 2015 when it began to be used for residential accommodation despite not having planning permission to do so.

As a result, in April last year Bournemouth Council carried out enforcement action against this use and an appeal challenging its decision was dismissed in February with the Planning Inspectorate saying that the loss of a tourism facility had not been justified.

Following the decision, the owner of the building, Mrs Lovett, has submitted an application for the former hotel to be converted into six holiday apartments instead.

A report submitted by planning agent, Ken Parke Planning Consultants, says: "The lawful hotel use is not financially viable.

“It is therefore necessary for the applicant to explore alternative options for the use of the site which would comply with relevant planning policies which apply to existing tourism uses.”

“There is no sustainable long-term future in the site operating as a hotel,” the report adds.

“While the Saxonhurst Hotel was previously one of a number of hotels on Sea Road and in the surrounding area, the overall tourist function of this part of the town has suffered a progressive and long-term decline.

“Many of the former hotels on Sea Road have been converted to flats or houses in multiple occupation.”

The report adds that tourists’ habits have changed with town centre accommodation expanding and the “rise” of large budget chains resulting in independent hotels “struggling”.

“The character of Boscombe has therefore evolved and while the beach continues to represent a significant attraction, changing holiday tastes mean that visits to small hotels such as this are less popular with visitors favouring a more independent mode of occupation,” it says. Bournemouth Echo

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