Councillors raise hotel objections

OBJECTIONS voiced by Skegness hoteliers against plans to build a 98 room hotel on the Foreshore were echoed by town councillors during a recent planning meeting.

After raising a number of concerns, councillors agreed unanimously to not support the application for the current Fun City site.

Reasons for the decision centred on parking and traffic issues, inconsistencies with the rest of the town’s character and a previous consultation which identified public disapproval of building hotels on the Foreshore.

Coun Mark Smith said: “Personally I don’t think it fits with our vision for Skegness or our current buildings.”

Coun Smith also raised concerns about flood risks, highways issues and the application’s inconsistency with the proposed Foreshore Masterplan, which, if approved, would guide development in that area towards facilities of a sporting nature, rather than hotels.

Town clerk Steve Larner, explained that the Masterplan had not yet been adopted as a planning policy and therefore should not underpin any decision.

As the application is only for an outline plan, including just general ideas rather than concrete, final proposals, Coun Mark Anderson speculated as to whether it was genuine, or a way of raising the site’s land value.

“I’m a bit suspicious because when outline plans are submitted, all they seem to do is raise land values, which I am a bit concerned about,” he said.

The site is one of the few areas along the Foreshore not owned by East Lindsey District Council and could therefore be sold on to other developers.

According to a report in the planning application the site is not currently profitable for the site owners as an amusement arcade but could become more valuable if it was established to be a potential development location.

Parking and traffic issues were also contentious issues for several councillors who felt the application’s failure to include a suitable car park was misguided.

Coun Phil Kemp said: “I thought that any new building had to have car parking and this hasn’t, It could be detrimental to the town to encourage more traffic.”

He also highlighted a previous consultation in which residents expressed disapproval at plans to have a hotel built on the Southern Foreshore. The final decision rests with ELDC.