Houses are set to be built next to the most historic hotel in Bognor Regis.
The latest plans for three terraced properties to the east of the Royal Norfolk Hotel are due to be backed by councillors next month.
The application for the four-bedroom properties has been recommended for approval by members of Arun District Council’s development control committee on September 4.
A total of 37 letters of objection were received by Arun, along with a protest by Bognor Regis Town Council.
One of the objectors, Louise Downes, of Crawley, told Arun:
“I have holidayed in Bognor Regis for about 40 years and I really value the area around the Royal Norfolk Hotel.
“The hotel is a Grade II-listed building in a conservation area. I think it needs its special setting to be able to be seen…as a tourist attraction.
“This area of open space is very important as there has already been so much in-filling.”
Norfolk Square resident Christine Brown said: “The erection of these houses would change the character of this area, along with bringing additional traffic to a small area.
“The Royal Norfolk Hotel is a characterful building and I do not believe that the new buildings would reflect this character and, therefore, would be detrimental to the area.”
Town councillors were concerned about the effect of the houses on the hotel’s setting and the character and appearance of West Street which is within The Steyne and Waterloo Square conservation area.
The current application by Mr D. Skinner for the hotel’s former tennis courts follows six previous schemes. They have all been refused or withdrawn before a decision could be made.
Arun planning officer Simon Davis says in his report to councillors about the current plans:
“There is no in principle objection to residential development on this site within the built- 0up area and it is considered that the proposal complies with development control criteria concerning highway safety, character, residential amenity, flood risk, parking and internal space standards.
“The report does conclude that there will be less than substantial harm to the affected heritage assets.
“However, this harm is outweighed by the public benefits associated with the development.”
Martyn White, the council’s conservation officer, says in his statement: “The terrace would continue development further towards the seafront in a location which does not appear to have had development before.
“It could erode the space around the listed building and harm the established character of the area.”
But he says the benefits of the scheme – given as new family housing, improving an unused piece of land and opening up the hotel site from neighbouring West Street – could outweigh the drawbacks.