Save The Three Cups Hotel

The Three Cups Hotel

Campaigning for preservation of the hotel where J.R.R. Tolkien stayed and gained inspiration for his mythology. Jane Austen, G.K. Chesterton, Tennyson and H.W. Longfellow were also guests. The hotel featured in the film, “The French Lieutenant’s Woman”. Please send articles to me, Andrew Townsend, at or add a comment. Thanks to David Moss for all his work. Comments are closed at WDDC for the plans to redevelop the site but you can still write to the papers.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Is it a Question of Democracy?

Dealing with West Dorset District Council and Lyme Regis Town Council is proving difficult when it comes asking them to take action in the interest of their electorate as the following letter from John Grantham will show. Click on "Read the full post" below to read letter published in View from Dorchester / Bridport / Beaminster / Lyme Regis on 17-2-10.

The Three Cups: Is it a Question of Democracy?

WDDC sadly classified my letter to Mr Clarke as “a complaint”. WDDC won’t attend an open session with Lyme residents, working only with ‘Save Three Cups as Hotel Group’ (good), and Town Council (all absent from April’s Bridport Public Meeting, all but one absent from June’s Lyme meeting, all but one absent from October’s, Lyme?) In June all 235 attendees voted for compulsory purchase; next day 1,397 of 1,400 people signed a compulsory purchase petition.

Anyone feel it’s ‘limited democracy’ meeting the Town Council but not being prepared to openly talk with hundreds of residents?

When I reported the crumbling Three Cups’ condition to a WDDC meeting, 23rd March 2009, an officer said curtly “When we sent someone down there a few months ago, everything was perfectly alright”! When I asked if Palmers should act thereon he uttered “That’s not Palmers’ current business objective”.

I therefore called-in H&S Executive, forcing urgent WDDC safety action. Vital, as guttering had previously crashed 70 ft onto a public area and a tile had ripped into a neighbour’s car. Urgent structural repairs with scaffolding followed, emergency railings, and later more structural internal work. Yet more work was required later, some implemented. I believe our whistle-blowing was severely resented, and incredibly, May 21st, I was actually banned from further direct contact with Conservation/ Building Control officers! (One reason for my approx weekly email to WDDC - their stated complaint - was … I hardly ever received clear answers on Council’s powers/actions. I still am unclear on these).

Today the Cups’ condition is “severely dilapidated” (TRI).

I am sending WDDC some real complaints/questions now on other questions ignored.

(If Community Alert writes less to “Letters” in future, the fight for true facts/ fairness/ democratic expression nevertheless accelerates!)

John Grantham
Community Alert


Anonymous Anonymous said…

I was at your June town meeting, as were other town councillors; perhaps you did not see us among that very busy throng! At such meetings I try to see all sides of the argument but also listen to the townspeople, both at the meeting and those I meet elsewhere. I do listen and read all your communications, but decisions of the town council are conducted by majority, not by individual ideas. Also we promised to revisit our previous decision after a response from Palmers and I am sure we will. Lorna Jenkin


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