Former hotel faces uncertain future

A FORMER Felixstowe hotel has an uncertain future today after community leaders put off making a decision on its demolition.

A FORMER Felixstowe hotel has an uncertain future today after community leaders put off making a decision on its demolition.

Thornlane Homes Ltd wants to knock down the North Sea Hotel and replace it with a restaurant and shops on the ground floor with two holiday flats and 11 two-bed and four one-bed flats for sale or rent above.

However, youth group Felixstowe Bored Kids had been hoping to acquire the Sea Road property for activities for young people, including indoor sport, hobbies, educational classes and events.

Suffolk Coastal officers believe the Thornlane Homes scheme should be approved but deferred it this week to enable more negotiations over certain aspects, including five affordable homes, operating times for the restaurant, and parking.

The property has not been a hotel since the 1990s and was a nightclub until being boarded up five years ago.

Felixstowe Town Council is not against redevelopment but feels more bed spaces as part of the regeneration of the resort is vital and the site has potential for a new hotel.

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Case officer Michaelle Coupe said: “A higher proportion of holiday lets would be preferable and discussions are in hand with the applicants as to whether this is feasible.

“Regard, however, needs to be taken of the neglected appearance of the building and its significant disrepair.

“It has been boarded up for a considerable amount of time and substantial monies would have to be spent to restore and upgrade the property to economic use.

“The applicants consider it would be more economic to demolish the existing building and rebuild.”

Should the site be used for a new hotel or shops, restaurant and flats? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk