December 10 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Proposals have been submitted to redevelop Felixstowe’s biggest seafront hotel and use most of the building for modern apartments.
Owner Sudeep Singh is asking Suffolk Coastal council for consent to turn the 49-bedroom Marlborough Hotel, Sea Road, into a 14-bed boutique hotel with a restaurant and shop on the ground floor, with the frontage restored to its former glory.
The rest of the building – along with a new three-storey modern extension to the rear – would be used to create 26 one, two and three-bedroom apartments.
Lost timber balconies and verandahs on the Edwardian building would be reinstated.
CH Architects said: “It is proposed that the existing building is refurbished and extended to the rear, and the use partly changed to residential and retail with a smaller boutique hotel retained.
“This will involve some demolition to the rear of the site behind the main historic building.
“Our client has invested heavily in the redevelopment of the Marlborough Hotel over the last five years and has brought the hotel up to a high standard.
“Despite this investment, occupancy in the hotel has continued to fall to the point where it is now considered to be financially unviable as a hotel.
“As a consequence our client is looking to redevelop the hotel to meet the demand for quality residential accommodation.”
Other hotels in Felixstowe are also facing similar problems – with low occupancy rates for rooms, most having just 35% to 40% for the year.
The North Sea Hotel has been standing empty for years, and the Waverley Hotel has been granted permission to extend and convert to 23 flats.
Earlier this year Mr Singh said: “Unfortunately, the hotel is no longer viable.
“I don’t want to shut it down and will be keeping 14 bedrooms but I have no option but to redevelop it.”
He said business rates had increased by 75% in the past ten years, along with huge rises in gas and electricity bills.
There had also been a drop in business clients – traditionally a staple part of Felixstowe’s hotels’ custom.