A new luxury hotel with a rooftop bar and restaurant is planned for a derelict former inn on Brighton seafront.
Sussex businessmen James Randall and Lucky Gohler want to renovate the empty Hostel Point building next to the Pier Nine casino into a new 40-bed boutique hotel called The Louche.
The Grade II listed building on the corner of Grand Junction Road and Pool Valley which dates from 1830, was originally three houses before being combined into one hotel in 1861.
An additional floor was added to Number 11 in 1897, and from 1911 the building was known as the Palace Pier Hotel until the mid-1980s when it was redeveloped and renamed Princes Hotel.
In 2015 it reopened as Hostel Point, providing cheap accommodation for backpackers, but has since closed and fallen into disrepair.
They have submitted plans to Brighton and Hove City Council which include a rooftop extension for a terrace bar and restaurant, which would be open to the public.
A proposed fifth-floor extension would be set back from the building’s facade, with visitor seating at the front and sides of the building, offering panoramic sea views.
Mr Randall said: ‘This corner of Brighton is ripe for respectful redevelopment, as part of a wider regeneration of the seafront. It needs major investment as the site at 10-12 Grand Junction Road has been neglected .
“If a positive outcome cannot be achieved, there is a danger that this site will remain derelict for at least another decade and negatively impact the building next door – Pier Nine Casino.”
Mr Gohler said: “Currently there are hardly any rooftop bars and surprisingly no Michelin star restaurants yet in Brighton.
“Our city attracts millions of visitors each year, but we know there is a shortage of accommodation and an appetite for more upscale options.
“La Louche would help fill this gap, while providing a vibrant new place for locals and local jobs. »
Darren Johnson, Head of Conferences and Business Development at VisitBrighton, said: ‘The Department of Tourism and Leisure would support any work that would bring the building back into use and renovate the exteriors in an area that acts as a gateway to the city for our business. and leisure visitors.
However, the council’s heritage team and conservation advisory group, which are consulted on listed building planning applications, are not so keen on the plans.
Tim Jeffries, of the council’s heritage team, said: ‘It is considered that the extension of the roof and the loss of the original roof at number 10 would very clearly damage the significance of the listed building, while the roof extension would very clearly detract from the appearance and character of the Old Town Conservation Area.
“There would be heritage benefits in returning the listed buildings to service and in good condition (as well as the benefit of opening the basement skylight), but these benefits would not offset the damage identified.
“It has not been demonstrated that viable reuse of these buildings cannot be achieved without such detrimental intervention or that any damage has been minimized and mitigated.”
The CAG said: ‘The proposed additional glass floor with its glass balustraded roof terrace would be a very detrimental intrusion on the views from various locations on the waterfront and from the Palace Pier.
“The existing four-storey Georgian and 5th-storey Victorian of this site, together with the five-storey Royal Albion Hotel opposite, offer views across the Poole Valley in balanced scale. The proposal would upset this balance.
“The loss of the existing chimneys and chimneys and the replacement of the front door of No 10 with a window and the front door of No 12 with wall would be a regrettable loss of the original fabric and, with the aforementioned evil above, would not be mitigated by the proposed reinstatement of some original features.
The application can be found on the council planning portal here.