Works to partially demolish the fire-ravaged and unstable Claremont hotel in Eastbourne, East Sussex, are to begin today.
The Grade II*-listed property was hit by a fire in November last year, which destroyed much of the hotel, leaving the remaining structure unstable. Parts of the building have continued to collapse, and site debris is known to be contaminated with asbestos.
Eastbourne Borough Council officers are in the process of determining planning and listed building applications and have given the green light for owner Daish Holidays and its contractor to begin on-site preparatory work today (10 February).
The local authority added: “Once preparatory work is completed on the site, we are confident that the contractors will start the demolition at the earliest opportunity.
“We are keeping local residents and businesses updated and will continue to work with all our partners in order to return this section of seafront to normal, as soon as possible.”
The cause of the fire, which spread rapidly through the Victorian building, is being investigated. All guests and staff at the 72-bedroom hotel were evacuated, with six people treated for minor injuries. At the height of the fire 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.