In proposals submitted to Hastings Borough Council, applicant Glen Reddy is seeking planning permission to open a new guest house at East Cliff House – the large, Grade II listed Georgian property above Webbe’s in Rock-a-Nore.
If approved, the renovated building would provide nine hotel rooms, a small private bar and a roof terrace looking out over The Stade.
In a design and access statement submitted as part of the application, a spokesman for Mr Reddy said: “The proposals demonstrate a sympathetic restoration with limited harm caused to the historic fabric of the building, which is greatly outweighed by the reuse and restoration.
“Overall the proposals will allow a currently disused listed building to be restored, preventing further deterioration and will produce a positive feature point to a historic area of the town.
“It is for these reasons that we ask the borough’s planning department to grant planning consent without delay.”
The application itself is for a change of use – from a nightclub to a guest house- although the building hasn’t been used as a nightclub for quite some time.
It was thought to have last been occupied by a wine bar known as Capel’s, although it is unclear when it actually closed its doors. The council’s licensing team, however, say the premises have not had a drinks licence since at least 2005.
According to the application, the previous uses of the building have removed many of the original historic features within it. But the applicant says they would seek to repair ‘the remaining historical elements’ and replicate with modern materials where necessary.
In principle, the scheme is supported by the council’s own marketing team.
In a letter to planners, Hastings Borough Council marketing manager Kevin Boorman said: “As the application acknowledges, this is a very historic building, one of the first – and arguably the first – seaside villa to be built in England, so establishing Hastings as one of the first, if not the first, seaside resort.
“The main part of the building has been unused for some years, and although the southern frontage retains its impressive Georgian character, the western side, facing All Saints Street, is now looking tired.
“There is an acknowledged shortage of good quality visitor accommodation in Hastings, particularly in the Old Town.
“This property is in an ideal location for a hotel, and commands impressive views over The Stade. Properly converted, it would be a very useful addition indeed to our visitor accommodation stock.”
For further information about the proposals see application reference HS/FA/20/00530 on the Hastings Borough Council website.
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