12:00pm Wednesday 25th April 2012
By Anne Bell
RESIDENTS will be kept up to date with progress on the future of the historic Three Cups Hotel in Lyme Regis – but the planning process cannot be hurried.
That’s the response from owners, Palmers Brewery, to campaigners demanding that the building is smartened up in time for the Jubilee and Olympic Torch celebrations this summer.
The Bridport-based brewery promises that the public will have a second chance to have their say on future plans for the derelict hotel before a planning application is lodged this year.
They also reassure concerned townspeople that the grade two listed building’s safety and security is being regularly checked.
The Save the Three Cups as a Heritage Hotel group campaigning for its restoration is urging the company to improve the appearance of the building which has been empty for 22 years.
Group chairman John Dover has written to Palmers, pointing out that the Olympic Torch will be carried through the town, a cruise ship will be calling in, a Royal Navy warship is visiting, and the Jubilee Pavilion will be officially named, in addition to the annual Lifeboat and Carnival Weeks.
“Many of us Lyme residents are becoming frustrated by your demonstrable lack of interest in our community,” he added.
“Any goodwill and support on our part that you would like to maintain as part of your ongoing consultations regarding the future of the Three Cups is being sorely tested. “Please, please take some action to address the issues I have now identified for over 18 months.”
Neighbours on both sides of the hotel have added their voices to concerns about the state of the building.
David Parker, of Sea Tree House, said: “Palmers’ reluctance to take action negatively impacts on our business as the disgusting condition of the passageway leading to our property means guests have to endure detritus from debris off the building and from the colony of pigeons.
“We and our guests overlook the garden at the rear where overgrown brambles are now pulling down our wall and the annual garden clearance has not taken place for some time.”
Another neighbour, Dr Bruce Menzies, a chartered engineer and leading geophysicist, said: “We have been living next door to this derelict building for seventeen years and slates from the roof have continued to periodically fall off and crash to the ground near us as well as near the other residents who live and park their cars on this side of the hotel.”
Palmers property agent Nigel Jones, a director of Chesterton Humberts, said: “The planning process is taking longer than originally anticipated due to the extensive reports that have been required by the planning officers and English Heritage.
“These are now complete and Palmers Brewery’s architects are now working towards a second public consultation and thereafter a planning application later this year.
“Meanwhile, Palmers are continuing with the weekly inspections of the building to ensure that it remains safe and secure.
“As always, we will keep the whole community up to date with developments as soon as we are able to do so.’
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