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Contrite Council: Apologies Aplenty For Apoplectic Melville Hall Hotel Owner Following Error

Melville Hall Hotel in Sandown (c) Wightlink

The Isle of Wight Council has apologised to the owner of Melville Hall Hotel in Sandown for a planning error online and on printed documents, which stated a revised application had been made for change of use, to turn the hotel into a house.

The owner, Alan Humphreys, has said the most recent application wasn’t for a change of use.

Mr Humphreys had previously submitted change of use plans in June, which were refused, and in his most recent planning form to the Isle of Wight Council, Mr Humphreys states the premises is “domestic”.

In his latest application, Mr Humphreys is asking to add a porch onto the hotel on Melville Street but the Isle of Wight Council initially recorded it as a change of use, with the addition of a porch.

Official documents have now been updated, to remove the change of use application.

An Isle of Wight Council spokesperson said:

“There has been some confusion over what the latest application is seeking permission for and this was due to the local planning authority making an error — for which we have apologised to the applicant — with the description of the application when it was processed.

“The local planning authority is seeking confirmation from the applicant regarding the nature of what they are applying for, as it is for the applicant to decide what they apply for, not the planning authority.”

In June, Mr Humphreys submitted plans (23/00438/FUL) for a change of use, turning the hotel into a home, but the council refused them.

The authority said, at the time, not enough evidence had been submitted to justify the loss of the hotel and turning it into a house would be to the detriment of the Island’s tourist economy.

Mr Humphreys has since appealed the council’s refusal to the Planning Inspectorate.

An Isle of Wight Council spokesperson said:

“We understand the appeal has not yet been validated by the Planning Inspectorate, if it is then information will be made available on the Planning Inspectorate’s website and our webpage for the application.”

Mr Humphreys has been contacted to find out more about his plans for Melville Hall Hotel but declined to comment.

You can view the plans, 23/01989/FUL, on the Isle of Wight Council’s planning portal. Comments can be submitted until December 22.

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