FED-UP flat owners living next door to a derelict hotel have begged Bournemouth council to bulldoze the “blot on the landscape”.
In a fresh bid to end the long-running saga of the neglected Cliff End Hotel in Boscombe, residents’ representative Brian Newman urged civic planners to take legal action to secure the controversial site.
The 125-year-old hotel in Manor Road was originally created for the jeweller H Samuel but has been deteriorating ever since it closed in 2002. It was ravaged by fire last December.
Previous attempts to redevelop the historic hotel have failed, with the situation inflamed by an on-going row between the freeholder Meyrick Estate and leaseholders the Boscombe Partnership. Because the site is in a conservation area there are strict rules controlling demolition and development.
In a deputation to the council’s planning board, Mr Newman said the site was a popular haunt for drug addicts and vagrants, adding: “It is blatantly unsafe and a magnet to trespassers. We are begging the council to take legal action to get something built on this site, even if it means seeking a compulsory purchase order.”
Ward councillor Anne Filer described the run-down former hotel as “a really attractive place for squatters”, adding: “It is an absolute eyesore. We know people are interested in developing this site; it is time it was resolved.”
Board chairman David Kelsey pointed out that the council had spent £38,000 on clearing and securing the site since 2003, adding: “We really need to move forward.”
His move, urging the council’s cabinet to pursue a compulsory purchase order once the dispute between the freeholder and leaseholders is resolved and responses from a public consultation are known, was seconded by vice-chairman Cllr Ron Whittaker.
Cllr Whittaker said: “We are desperate to sort something out on this site. We have been talking about this for a good seven years and have to make a decision.”
The move was carried after no councillors voted against it and Cllr Beryl Baxter abstained.