Plans to replace a vacant hotel on Littlehampton seafront will ‘put Littlehampton back on the map’ according to its owners.
The Nelson Hotel, on the corner of South Terrace and Pier Road, has been closed since July 2017 and plans have been submitted to tear it down and build a 14-bedroom replacement on the site.
Owners Loreta and Petre Stojanovski, who also run Vardar Restaurant in Selborne Road, have been at The Nelson since 1993.
Loreta described the deterioration of the hotel as ‘heartbreaking’, but said a modern replacement could help regenerate the area.
“We can put Littlehampton back on the map,” she said.
“It will bring lots of people into Littlehampton on holiday, businesses, people coming for conferences.
“There’s nowhere to stay in Littlehampton except B&Bs, but this will change that.”
The application also includes plans for a ground floor restaurant and a roof terrace pub restaurant with views of the River Arun.
The couple are working with Bognor Regis-based architectural company Bayside Architectural Design Ltd.
Planning permission for an additional floor was granted in May 2017, but the Stojanovskis chose not to proceed as it would have cost more to build around the ‘rotten’ insides than to tear it down and start from scratch.
This most recent application described the hotel in its current state as ‘unusable’ and Loreta said rebuilding will give the couple more design freedom, before it is handed over to their two son-in-laws to run.
“I wanted more,” she said. “I wanted a function room and a bigger restaurant. Now we can build it exactly as we want it.”
The public consultation period ends Thursday, December 20, and a decision should be made by February 14, 2019.
Loreta said she expected the project to take eight to nine months to complete if approved.
The Nelson has been a fixture of Littlehampton for over 170 years, starting out as the Victory Inn in 1840. The building has been in its current form since the 1970s.