Plans for the redevelopment of three hotels on the Sandbanks peninsula in Dorset are facing widespread opposition from the public.
The Borough of Poole has received more than 900 public objections to the plans, lodged by Richard Carr of Fortitudo Property, the lead consultants on the scheme, on behalf of FJB Hotels. A group has been set up called the Protect Sandbanks Group to oppose the plans to demolish three of the group's hotels and redevelop the site.
A 196-bedroom luxury hotel is set to be built on the site of the current 77-bedroom, four-AA-star Sandbanks hotel, "consolidating" the current hotel accommodation offering on one site.
The 116-bedroom, four-AA-star Haven hotel would be replaced with four blocks of residential apartments with a destination restaurant on the top floor, and the 38-bedroom, four-AA-star Harbour Heights hotel would be replaced with a 40-suite aparthotel. All three hotels are owned by FJB Hotels.
The application for planning permission has been lodged and the developer hopes to be granted approval within nine months. It describes the current three hotels as "outdated" and "inefficient" and says the residential development would help fund the hotel redevelopment proposal.
However, concerns have been raised by the opposition group, which claims the buildings would "tower above the area" (buildings would be eight to ten storeys high; the group claims no other building on Sandbanks is higher than five), the demolition of the historic Haven hotel, and the natural beauty of the area.
Carr said that while some people are objecting to the development, there are also a significant number who feel positively about the scheme. He said the developers would be speaking to the Borough of Poole council planning department in due course, and would be open to take on board some of the comments made and make adjustments if necessary.
He added: "There is an opportunity here for there to be two brand new hotels… two state-of-the-art facilities that would put Poole in front of most resorts in the UK. It's a very exciting prospect, and it would be great for the area."
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