Eastbourne seafront hotel could become 32 flats

A hotel in Eastbourne could be converted into flats if plans are given the green light.

Plans submitted to Eastbourne Borough Council propose that the Citrus Hotel, formerly known as The Big Sleep in King Edwards Parade, would become the site of 32 flats.

If approved, four studio flats, 21 one-bed flats and seven two-bed flats would be created – all open plan and with accompanying en-suites. Communal facilities including a laundry room and bin/bike storage would also be provided.

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Residents will have to use existing nearby car parks and on-street parking where available, plans say.

The Big Sleep is now known as The Citrus Hotel

Regarding this parking plan, the documents say, “The current situation has been considered suitable when previously in use as a hotel.”

The semi-detached four-storey hotel was completed in the mid-19th century and was originally two properties which were knocked into one to form the hotel.

Plans say the building is ‘in poor condition and has been deteriorating over time’ and as a result, ‘rotting windows’ and the roof would be repaired so the ‘aesthetic of the property’ would be ‘improved drastically’.

According to the design and access statement, the proposal will provide ‘modern affordable living accommodation for people in the local community’ and is a ‘sustainable development to make a small but valuable and essential contribution to meeting Eastbourne’s wide and varied housing needs’.

Plans say, “The applicant, Fairhome Group PLC is nationally renowned for its appropriate, sensitive investment into the revitalisation of living accommodation to provide modern, well-designed facilities within attractive environments. Fairhome is highly experienced in the re-development and improvement of existing buildings to provide modern, high quality housing to meet a wide range of community needs.”

Fairhome Group PLC say, “The application aims to change the use from a struggling business into affordable apartments and studio flats, therefore providing homes for a group of individuals and meeting residential needs.”

Annie Wills, the head of tourism and enterprise for Eastbourne Borough Council, said, “From a tourism prospective we would object to this application, this hotel is in the primary accommodation area. Occupancy is well above average and we believe the staycation will continue.”

Residents of neighbouring Montpelier Mansions Elisabeth Scott and Bernard Hall raised issues around insufficient car parking for the potential new residents and argued ‘it is unlikely that the type of flat and location will be suitable to help the housing shortage’. They also said ‘we already have too many flats in Eastbourne’.

The target determination date for the plans is December 13.