Elme Hall’s application to become an HMO

07:00 2 November 2022

08h59 November 2, 2022

Part of an iconic hotel on Norfolk’s border with Cambridgeshire could be turned into accommodation.

Councilors in West Norfolk have been recommended to approve plans to convert a 34-bedroom motel block at the Elme Hall Hotel, off the A47 on the outskirts of Wisbech, into an HMO (Housing House multiple).

A developer named D Conetta in council papers asked to convert the block into 26 bedrooms with a maximum occupancy of 39 people, as well as a communal kitchen, dining room and lounge on each floor.

A previous request for a change of use was rejected in May by a narrow majority, against the recommendation of officers, because allowing it would have meant the loss of tourist facilities in the area.

But a report to advisers says the hotel in its current form is no longer viable, with profits having plummeted even before the pandemic.

He continues: “It has been marketed for sale and there has been no interest as a hotel because there is not enough commerce to satisfy its need.

“The main building, Elme Hall, will remain a hotel. However, overall the site is no longer viable, primarily due to the shrinking tourism sector as well as the significant expansion of the Premier Inn to around 12 miles along the A47, having claimed ‘contractor’ activity.

“While the proposal would mean the loss of 34 hotel rooms, the applicant said the development would support maintaining some hotel accommodation in the adjacent building, and it would be a more attractive accommodation offer.”

The report says there are five alternative hotels within five miles of the site.

Neither Wisbech City Council nor Fenland District Council opposes the proposals. But Emneth Parish Council said an HMO would be an “unacceptable” use.

Councilors on the West Norfolk Planning Committee are recommended to approve the application at their meeting on Monday 7th November.

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