Extract from Lyme Regis Society March 2005 Newsletter
As many will know, the application to turn the Bay Hotel into flats was refused by District Councillors despite officers’ recommendation to approve. This refusal was the result of four weeks’ hard work by an ad hoc group of objectors, who researched the council’s Local Plans, came up with nine Policies which the application contravened, and mailed a complete and comprehensive analysis to all members of the Planning Committee, supported by sixty letters of objection and a petition which acquired 400 names in one day. Thank you also to the some sixty residents who came to the planning meeting to give us support.
In all such decisions there is a tension between an owner’s right to do what he likes with his property, and his obligations to the community which sustains him. Clearly it is possible for an applicant to capitalise on the attractiveness of the seafront and the town into which he has bought, but there may then be a disadvantage to the town if such an application is approved. It is to be hoped that the owner will not appeal against the refusal, but that the hotel (and garage) will now continue to function in a way that will provide benefits to the community.
We hope that this decision will encourage the District Council to look more closely and critically at any further applications for change of use of hotels.