PLANS to transform a historic venue into a luxury boutique hotel have collapsed – following a row over a proposed extension that could have blocked out people’s gardens.
Investors had ploughed efforts into turning Old Portsmouth’s former Sally Port Inn, dating from the 1600s, into top accommodation with private suites, a fine-dining restaurant and seafood bar.
The entire team are extremely disappointed with the decision. We have spent a great deal of time, effort and money carefully designing what would have been a true “destination venue”.Company spokesperson
Park Lane Assets Limited bought it in June 2015, and bosses have been keen to transform the High Street venue – closed since 2007 – which they say is in a state of ‘complete dilapidation, requiring a substantial refurbishment to save it from complete ruin’.
The plan was criticised by the city council’s planning committee, which said the developers needed to come back with better designs.
But the company has taken the stance as a rejection of the plans – and pulled the plug. It comes despite efforts by city council Tory leader, Councillor Donna Jones, to attract premium hotels to Portsmouth.
A company spokesperson said ‘The entire team are extremely disappointed with the decision. We have spent a great deal of time, effort and money carefully designing what would have been a true “destination venue”.
‘The finished project would have been the envy of any city; it would have also restored and conserved the building’s significant history.’
Tory councillor Ken Ellcome said: ‘The owners wanted to put an extension on the building, and a lift shaft to get to the top floor. But the problem is, the extension blocked the view of the neighbours, who were next door, and blocked out the view behind. So the committee deferred it for the owners to see if they could go away with a smaller extension.’ He added: ‘We support efforts for more hotel accommodation, but not at the expense of local people. We are open for them to come back with a different plan.’