A controversial planning application to convert garage space into a ten-bedroom hotel has been approved by West Dorset District Council.

The application for the hotel proposal in Coombe Street was discussed by the development control committee last Thursday, August 14.

Lyme Regis Town Council had recommended refusal of the bid.

The proposal includes alterations to, and an extension of, the existing garage to create a ten-room hotel while also retaining the existing parking facilities.

A spokesperson for West Dorset District Council said the application was approved with some alterations.

The hotel is envisaged as one where minimal supervision is required.

The applicants have said that guests could book the accommodation on the internet and no dining room would be required because visitors would eat out locally.

It is claimed the scheme would also generate employment through hotel maintenance and cleaning.

Larry Gibbons, who owns the Largigi restaurant and attached garage with his wife Gina, said he is ‘overjoyed’ the application was successful.

“This will be good news for the people of Lyme and of benefit to all, because I believe this hotel will be the first one built since the last hotel in Lyme was closed down.

“This certainly hasn’t been easy and will now be a case of slow progress but sure progress - we’re hoping to start building early next year.”

Planning issues discussed by councillors included increased hotel accommodation in the town, the effect on the character of the conservation area and on the setting of listed buildings and residential amenity.

Lyme Regis Town Council recommended refusing the application due to site ‘overdevelopment’.