Worthing hotel demolition to go ahead

AN art deco seafront landmark will be demolished to make way for a trendy spa hotel and luxury flats.

Worthing planners backed proposals for the Beach Hotel in Marine Parade despite concerns about the scheme’s height and design.

Conservation watchdogs conceded the existing hotel was no longer a viable business, but branded the proposed replacement building an “anti-climax, disappointment and missed opportunity”.

Developers Roffey wanted to construct a “bold and contemporary” £9 million 76-bedroom hotel and restaurant alongside 49 apartments on the site of the Beach, the art deco facade of which dated back to the mid-1930s.

The new complex featured a heavily glazed eight-storey entrance tower separating the residential and hotel parts of the project.

But there was concern the modern design did not sit easily with the neighbouring Victorian Burlington Hotel, which is grade II listed.

A report commissioned by the applicants concluded that the existing Beach Hotel did not make a positive contribution to the conservation area.

Roffey said in the current and future economic climate a new hotel needed flats to pay for it.

But English Heritage said it regretted the proposed building was so high and called for major changes to the “inelegant” upper levels.

The Worthing Society conservation group said it accepted the current hotel, converted from a row of Victorian houses, was no longer viable as a business.

But members had hoped for a better design and urged councillors to review the plans.

The council received 18 letters, many from residents of neighbouring Milton Road, Marine Parade, Thorn Road and Brunswick Road.

Supporters said Worthing needed regeneration but protesters claimed the new building was too high and bulky, and would block residents’ natural light.