PLANS to build more than one hotel at the site of Zurich House have been scaled back by the developer.
Knightsbridge Student Housing Ltd submitted a plan to build one affordable hotel in Stanhope Road, along with 950 student beds and 150 flats.
The developer had previously said it was in talks with budget hotel firms to open one opposite the train station and wanted another hotel at the other end of the site.
But just one affordable hotel has been included in the application.
Christian Davis, development and acquisitions associate director at the firm, said: ‘We’re thrilled to have submitted this application for a really exciting development in a key position in Portsmouth’s city centre.
‘Following extensive consultation with the public and Portsmouth City Council, we have opted for a design that retains the essence of Zurich House and will leave the Portsmouth skyline as so many people know it today.’
He added a new boulevard will provide access into Victoria Park for residents.
Mr Davis added: ‘The boulevard will also provide well-located retail space and open up access to Victoria Park, linking it to the city centre.
‘We’re sure that the residents of Portsmouth will like it.’
City Council leader councillor Donna Jones welcomed the application. She said although the council wants to see more four and five-star hotels in Portsmouth, there is still a market for lower-end hotels.
Cllr Jones said: ‘I very much welcome the development of Zurich House.
‘It’s been a complete eyesore for at least three or four years.
‘While we do have ambitions to have more four or five-stars in the city, there’s a strong market for the lower end of the hotel industry.’
She also welcomed the student accommodation but said it must be managed well.
The planning application was submitted on March 11.
The conversion work at the disused building is due to be completed by summer 2017.
Retail space will also be built, if planning permission is granted.
The company previously owned the site and had planning consent to turn the disused building into a three-star hotel.
However, the economic crisis meant the plans fell through, the firm has previously said.