June 19 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Hotel chain Premier Inn has formally applied for planning permission to build a 60-bedroom hotel on the site of Elizabeth Hall.
The chain’s parent company, Whitbread, was named as the preferred bidder for the hall site by East Devon District Council (EDDC) last year, after the council decided to sell it as part of its Exmouth Vision project.
After a public exhibition at Exmouth Pavilion last December, Premier Inn has now submitted its designs for planning approval, which you can see here.
The application is to demolish the Elizabeth Hall, and build the hotel over four storeys, with a restaurant and café bar.
The building will be at the front of the site, with car parking behind.
Whitbread says it received more than 290 consultation responses from the public, and, as a result, made some changes to its initial ideas.
A spokesman said these changes included strengthening the building’s Art Deco design, increasing its ‘active frontage’ with more outside dining space, retaining more trees around the car park, and increasing the size of the hotel’s ‘meeting room’ facility – which could be hired by local groups.
Whitbread also says it will make a financial contribution towards replacing the Elizabeth Hall public toilets at the nearby ‘Exmouth Splash’ site.
Whitbread’s Richard Pearson, who is leading the redevelopment, said: “Elizabeth Hall is a top-quality site in Exmouth and we have taken our time to get the designs right.
“We considered all the feedback received from public consultation and have responded with a bespoke building that fits with its surroundings and will deliver the top-class new leisure facilities that so many people wanted to see.”
EDDC named Premier Inn as its preferred bidder for the Elizabeth Hall despite a petition of more than 12,000 names calling for it to be saved.
A bid for the site by community group Friends of Elizabeth Hall to use it as a community arts and visitors’ centre was turned down, along with another application by Churchill Retirement Living.
EDDC’s consultation on the application is now open, and will run until April 9.
The public can view the plans and make comments at the council’s planning website, http://planning.eastdevon.gov.uk, using application code 13/0494/MFUL.
Exmouth Town Council will also be consulted, and will discuss the scheme at a special planning meeting at the town hall, on March 25 at 6pm. EDDC’s development management committee will then make the final decision.