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Havre des Pas hotel could become flats

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ONE of the few remaining hotels at Havre des Pas could be partly demolished and converted into 25 apartments, if permission is granted.

The Fort d'Auvergne Hotel is on the corner of the promenade

According to a planning application, the 65-room Fort d’Auvergne Hotel, which is owned by Morvan Hotels and first opened in the late 1920s, has become challenging to operate profitably with the main visitor season becoming progressively shorter each year.

It adds that this makes it ‘impractical’ to invest the substantial sums needed to update the site.

If permission is given, Fort d’Auvergne will join the list of other hotels in the area which have either been demolished for housing or converted into apartments over the years, including Hotel de la Plage, the Carlton Hotel and the Seaforth.

A design statement accompanying the application says: ‘Additionally, Jersey’s high cost base makes the operation of this type of seasonal visitor accommodation incredibly challenging. Restrictions on staffing and difficulties with labour availability add further practical pressures to operating this seasonal hotel.

‘The lack of an on-site car park or easy nearby parking availability has long hampered access and its operation.’

It adds: ‘The current buildings are very dated and are not finished to modern standards. This has added to the cost of operation with increasing investment being required each spring to bring the hotel up to guest expectations, regarding expected levels of internal and external finishes.’

It is not the first time a similar application has been lodged for the site.

In 2009, the Planning Committee granted Morvan Hotels permission to convert the building into 37 apartments and permission was extended in February 2015 for a further five years.

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But now, Waddington Architects have opted for a ‘significantly less tall and bulky’ 25-apartment five-storey structure – matching the height of the nearby Carlton building – stepping down to four-storeys towards the west. They say the majority of views from the street would remain relatively the same.

A total of 30 parking spaces would be provided for residents and three for guests and there would be secure cycle spaces.

Developers also plan to create a maritime-themed piece of art to the south as part of the Percentage-for-Art scheme.

It adds: ‘The Fort d’Auvergne will provide much-needed and sustainable new homes in this popular residential area. Walking to the town centre is easy and cycling, easier still.’

Permission has already been granted to demolish Drifters Restaurant and Bar, Maison Chaussey Guest House and Carribbean Vibz restaurant – formerly Nelson’s Eye – to build 19 one-bedroom and one two-bedroom apartments with accompanying café with al fresco seating.

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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