Fears for future of New Dolphin Hotel

PUBLISHED: 08:41 27 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:15 15 June 2010

The future use of Honiton's only town centre hotel is concerning councillors, who fear it may not re-open with letting rooms.

The future use of Honiton's only town centre hotel is concerning councillors, who fear it may not re-open with letting rooms.There is a lack of central accommodation for visitors to Honiton and town councillors fear plans submitted by Punch Taverns could limit services offered at The New Dolphin Hotel, which is currently closed.The pub company is seeking permission to remove the Grade II listed building's hotel reception. It also wants to provide improved toilet facilities, disabled access, three cycle spaces and a bin store."I've got worries about the doing away of the hotel reception," former mayor Councillor Sally Casson told a planning committee meeting."There are certain features in that place that need preserving."Councillor Ron Farnham, who was chairing the meeting, described The New Dolphin Hotel as "one of our very, very ancient buildings"."One internal wall dates back to 1300 and was part of the Courtenay's town house," he said, and called for a district council conservation officer to carry out an external and internal inspection of the premises.Councillor Vivienne Ash, deputy mayor, said she wants to know if the hotel side of the business will continue.The committee is to tell East Devon District Council that it welcomes plans to re-open the business, but would like to clarify its use as a hotel because of the request by Punch Taverns to remove the hotel's reception desk and in view of a lack of town centre accommodation. Honiton Town Council is also requesting a site inspection by a conservation officer.

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