PLANS to build Portsmouth’s first five-star hotel have been hit by a new blow.
City council leader Donna Jones says that talks with a developer have broken down.
She met the developer, which designs upmarket boutique hotels but does not want to be named, eight months ago to discuss the potential of the Royal Marines Museum site in Eastney.
Cllr Jones who is trustee of the museum said: ‘I was in consultation with a company for them to convert the building into a five-star hotel.
‘Unfortunately this isn’t possible.
‘It’s difficult to get planning permission to convert a listed building so I think that it will be challenging for a hotel chain to take on the site.
‘If the company was looking to convert the building into a three or four-star hotel then the Royal Marines Museum would be perfect for them.’
Other sites have been looked at as a site for the much-wanted five-star hotel including Queen Street, around Southsea Common and Old Portsmouth.
And Cllr Jones has been in contact with a number of other companies, including Bespoke Hotels and developer Tony Kaye, who has helped set up luxury hotels across Europe.
‘We’re just looking to find the right location for the hotel to be built or converted from an existing building but the ideal place would obviously be along the seafront,’ she said.
Since the museum’s administrators announced it plans to move from the former Eastney Barracks to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard there has been speculation of what will occupy the historic building.
East Southsea Neighbourhood Forum chairman Leon Reis said: ‘Everybody wants a good solution for that site and a lot of minds will be looking for a good answer.
‘The hotel would have been a good idea for the whole of Portsmouth but it should be something that will enhance the seafront and the local area.’
The forum is looking to include the future of the building at its next meeting.
Mr Reis added: ‘If Donna wanted this to be brought up then we will put it in our next meeting.’
The museum will move to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard by the end of 2017 in an attempt to boost visitor numbers.