The owners of the Grade II*-listed Claremont hotel in Eastbourne have described its demolition following a devastating fire as “a tragedy”.
The remainder of the seafront hotel’s façade was demolished this morning, after a large selection collapsed on Monday following a weekend that saw Storm Ciara bring gusts of up to 97mph to much of the country.
The hotel’s owner Daish's Holidays has said efforts are being made to complete as much work as possible before Storm Dennis arrives on Saturday.
The group told Eastbourne Herald: “A 70 tonne specialist demolition rig has been deployed and was brought in by road convoy to safely take down the remaining front elevation to a safe height and from a safe distance.”
It added: “The loss of this fine hotel is a tragedy.”
The 72-bedroom hotel was hit by a fire in November last year, which destroyed much of the building, parts of which have continued to collapse since the blaze, with site debris known to be contaminated with asbestos.
The local authority had given the green light for owner Daish Holidays and its contractor to begin demolition preparatory work just hours before Monday’s collapse.
The cause of the fire, which spread rapidly through the Victorian building, is being investigated. All guests and staff were evacuated, with six people treated for minor injuries. At its height 12 fire crews were battling the blaze, believed to have started in the basement.
The hotel is owned by Jeanne Wilson who, according to the Daish's Holidays group website, acquired the hotel in 2013. The group comprises 10 hotels and 24 luxury coaches.