'Unviable' plan for redevelopment of fire ravaged Royal Clarence hotel dismissed

28 October 2021 by
'Unviable' plan for redevelopment of fire ravaged Royal Clarence hotel dismissed

The owner of the Royal Clarence hotel in Exeter is developing a new plan for its rejuvenation five years after it was gutted in a devastating fire.

South West Lifestyle Brands (SWLB), which bought the site from Andrew Brownsword Hotels last year, said a previously approved plan for a 74-bedroom hotel was unviable.

SWLB, which is indirectly owned by James Brent, chairman of property development company the Akkeron Group, plans to bring forward a new proposal for the redevelopment and said it was in discussion with Exeter City Council, Historic England and Exeter Cathedral.

The Grade-II listed, 53-bedroom, four-AA-star hotel was destroyed in October 2016 by a fire that had broken out in an adjacent building.

The Andrew Brownsword hotel group had initially hoped the property would reopen in 2019, but enabling works took longer than planned and left the project financially unviable for the business to continue.

A spokesperson for SWLB said: "Whilst the site has an extant planning consent for the creation of a 74-bedroom hotel, obtained by the previous owners, such a scheme was significantly unviable prior to the coronavirus pandemic and the events of the last 18 months have only served to reinforce this position.

"The historic nature of the building and the considerable damage caused to it by the fire means this is a complex project technically, architecturally and commercially."

A spokesperson for Exeter City Council said: "We as much as anyone in the city would like to see this site developed and await with interest for the owner to progress their plans for the site."

Continue reading

You need to create an account to read this article. It's free and only requires a few basic details.

Already subscribed?

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking