Demolition begins at Royal Albion hotel amid police investigation

20 July 2023 by
Demolition begins at Royal Albion hotel amid police investigation

Demolition has begun at the 200-year-old Royal Albion hotel in Brighton after it was damaged by a fire.

The blaze at the Regency-style building, which is opposite Brighton Palace Pier, broke out on Saturday evening (15 July).

No one was injured in the fire and Sussex Police said the occupants of five rooms which had initially not been accounted for had all been found "safe and well".

Brighton and Hove City Council said parts of the damaged building had to be demolished to ensure it was "structurally safe".

Historical group the Regency Society has called for the demolition, which began on 19 July, to be limited to areas that are "strictly necessary".

"We of course want to save as much of this iconic, heritage building as possible and have tasked our contractors to do this," said council leader Bella Sankey.

A 3D scan of the exterior of the Grade II-listed building has been completed and original features will be set aside for reuse for moulds or to be recreated.

It is understood the demolition will take around two to three weeks to complete.

The council said asbestos was known to be in ceiling coatings used in the hotel, but there was unlikely to be any "significant risk of exposure" to the public.

Sussex Police has launched an investigation into the cause of the fire at the hotel, which is operated by Britannia Hotels.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said it was supporting police in the investigation and that no further details could be released at this stage.

The hotel was built in 1826 on the site of the house of Dr Richard Russell, the promoter of sea-bathing who helped build Brighton's popularity as a holiday resort.

Image: Delia Suvari / Shutterstock

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