Homes plan for hotel's former skittles alley

Ridgeway Country Hotel Axminster GSV

The Ridgeway Country Hotel in Axminster - Credit: Google Street View

An Axbridge hotel is hoping to convert an outbuilding into homes after failing to sell the venue on.

A planning application submitted to East Devon District Council, would see the building, which has been home to the skittles alley, converted into three properties.

The plan, submitted by Modarc on behalf of the owners, would see a part a room formerly home to the skittles alley and a bar area, adapted to create two three-bedroom homes and a four-bed property.

Gardens at the venue, in Smallridge Road, Smallridge, would be split to create gardens for the properties, the applications says, with parking also provided for each home.

It comes after the hotel was put up for sale in September 2019 for £645,000, but has failed to attract any offers and just three viewings.

The application says the owners are now keen to move the business on, as the model has changed over the years, and has been hastened by the pandemic, limiting the corporate clientele it previously relied on.

"The bar and function room would (previously) be used for corporate meetings for local businesses," the application says.

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"Weekends would then welcome wedding parties.

"When the pandemic hit in March 2020, (the) business came to a grinding halt.

"The business models for local businesses has also changed, as it has become clear video meetings are very much here to stay, which has had a massive impact on ... business."

The applicants also attached details of the business' turnover in the submission, in a bid to clarify the case for the changes.

"With the pandemic also taking its toll on takings over the past 18 months, the prospect of taking on a business such as this is simply not appealing to anyone in the current climate," it adds.

"The proposal therefore to change the building back to its former use, of residential, is the most logical step with the current demand for housing far outweighing the demand for a business such as this at present."