Felixstowe: Marlborough Hotel set to be converted into mixed-use development comprising boutique hotel, flats, restuarant and shops
Proposals to redevelop a major seafront hotel are set to be approved – despite a severe lack of off-street parking.
Owner of the Marlborough Hotel at Felixstowe, Sudeep Singh is asking Suffolk Coastal council for consent to turn the 49-bedroom hotel 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.
Suffolk County Council has objected because of inadequate off-street car parking – saying there should be 86 spaces while the development would have only 12.
Despite this, case officer Phil Perkin is recommending Suffolk Coastal councillors approve the project for the property in Sea Road.
He said: “The proposal retains a hotel on the site which will continue to contribute towards the tourism economy of the town as will the proposed restaurant and retail use and the sustainable location of the site and existing car parks in the area mitigate against the acknowledged lack of parking.
“The creation of a restaurant and retail unit on the ground floor are the type of tourist-related uses that are to be welcomed in the town.
“Indeed it is anticipated that the retail unit will be let to a shop catering to the leisure industry, including tourists and occasional visitors along with local residents with a range of, during the holiday season, beach toys, equipment and games would provide the primary income.
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“The Marlborough Hotel is a substantial building and people’s aspirations and expectations have changed with regard to hotel accommodation.
“While the reduction in the number of bedrooms and the creation of residential apartments could be considered contrary to policy the proposal does nevertheless retain a hotel, albeit a smaller one, on the site.
“Furthermore, given the economic circumstances and difficulties surrounding the operation of the existing hotel it is considered that on balance the current proposal represents the most favourable solution to securing a viable hotel use on the site.
“As such it is considered that a refusal of planning permission based on the loss of part of the hotel would be difficult to successfully defend.”
The south area development management sub committee, which meets to decide the application on June 26, will also receive a confidential report on the viability of the current Marlborough Hotel.
Felixstowe Town Council also objected, concerned about the proposed extension, describing it as an “unacceptable overdevelopment”.