Buyer sought in plan to transform landmark Southsea hotel

CHANGES Queens Hotel in Southsea.
CHANGES Queens Hotel in Southsea.
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A DEVELOPER is being sought to turn part of the landmark Queen’s Hotel and the land around it into flats.

Final consent is due over the next few days for an ambitious plan which would see the upper storeys of the seafront hotel, which have been unused since the 1960s, sold off and turned into 30 private apartments.

The buyer would also take on land around the hotel with permission to build two blocks of affordable flats and more private apartments.

The hotel would become a much smaller 22-bedroom facility on the ground and first floor with newly-refurbished bedrooms and facilities.

The scheme was first revealed in 2008 but has only now got to the final stages of the planning process.

Vail Williams commercial property agent has been asked to market the building and the land.

A survey in 2005 concluded the hotel was worth around £2m, compared with an estimated £5m bill to refurbish it.

Chris Cave, partner at Vail Williams, said: ‘The planning consent is for the ground floor and first floor of the hotel to be refurbished and kept as a boutique hotel.

‘We are expecting to get the final letter of planning approval imminently.

‘Next door to the hotel, on the right-hand side, will be 30 affordable flats, and in front of that, on the seaward side, there will be a block of 38 private apartments.’

The hotel is owned by the Manning family, who also own Clarence Parade Pier.

The second phase of planning, to build the block of 38 apartments, attracted objections from neighbours and the Portsmouth Society.

John Holland, one of its committee members, wrote to Portsmouth City Council saying: ‘We feel the proposed building is too tall for the site and will block views of the Queen’s Hotel from Southsea Common.’

The society also said its design was not in keeping with neighbouring Georgian and Edwardian properties.

But the plans were changed in the middle of last year to address some of the concerns.

The Portsmouth Society did not object to plans to refurbish the Queen’s Hotel itself.

The hotel estimates that once a developer buys the hotel and land, the work should take 18 months to finish.

The Queen’s Hotel was first known as Southsea House, and was a large home owned by Sir John and Lady Morris. It was destroyed in a fire in 1901, and rebuilt in 1903. Around 30 full and 50 part-time staff work at the hotel, which is in a conservation area but is not listed.