Royal Gazette: More than 2,500 sign petition against hotel plans

Royal Gazette: More than 2,500 sign petition against hotel plans

An online petition calling for the redevelopment of the Fairmont Southampton hotel to be scaled back has attracted more than 2,500 signatories.

The petition, launched on the website on Friday, states: “We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned about the proposed new special development order for the Southampton Princess Hotel that would allow for more and taller buildings.”

It goes on to argue that the development “threatens to change the character of the hotel and the surrounding area in ways that would be harmful to both the environment and our community”.

Details of the plan were released last Wednesday in a special development order application submitted to the Department of Planning by Westend Properties, a subsidiary of hotel owner Gencom.

But in addition to hotel refurbishments, Westend is seeking permission to build 261 apartments — the majority for residential rather than tourism use.

Artist impressions included in Westend’s SDO application revealed that 25 per cent of the resort’s golf course will be swallowed up by six-storey-high apartment blocks that will dominate the skyline, although final design work has not been completed.

A letter accompanying the SDO application states: “To accommodate changing trends in the real estate market, Westend Properties Ltd is seeking flexibility with respect to detailed planning of the units, therefore detailed design has not been attempted at this time, and thus the proposal is restricted to high-level conceptual design.”

The images provoked outrage among environmental campaigners who described the project as “unbelievable and unforgivable”, and called on the public to take action.

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April 17, 2023 News