Monkton hotel set to close
PUBLISHED: 08:00 19 September 2020
Court Hall in Monkton is set to close with a combination of coronavirus and other hotels to blame,
The hotel is situated right on the edge of the A30 and dates from the early 19th century.
However, the family run country house hotel has seen its occupation become limited over recent years with East Devon District Council’s planning committee hearing it had not been profitable for six years.
Councillor Colin Brown, who represents the Dunkeswell and Otterhead ward, runs and currently lives within the hotel and asked for permission to change the use of the building from a hotel to a single dwelling.
Putting forward the proposal, Matthew Dalton-Aram, speaking on behalf of Cllr Brown, said that the hotel has not been in profit for six years and has only survived as they have invested their own money in the business.
He added: “The new Premier Inns in Honiton and Seaton have made it difficult for the boutique hotel market as they can offer cheaper accommodation, and it has been compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, so they have chosen to close the guest house and cease operations.
“The site is unattractive for a commercial proposition and it was the historic Manor House of Monkton, so the proposal would revert back to its original use as a dwelling.”
Development manager Chris Rose, in his report to the committee, said that while the site is not considered to be in a sustainable location where future residents could easily access a range of services to meet their everyday need, as the applicants already live on site, there would be no increase in the number of residential units on site, nor any extra demands concerning sustainability.
He added that there are a range of larger chain hotels operating in the area as well as other boutique hotels and smaller guesthouses, and that due to the lack of interest for anyone wanting to take this on as a hotel, it wouldn’t result in loss of any employment.
The committee voted by eight votes to four abstentions to approve the plans, with some members choosing to abstain due to the close working relationship they have had with Cllr Brown.
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