Major plans to renovate and extend historic Grosvenor House Hotel in Skegness

Major plans to renovate and extend a historic hotel in Skegness have been revealed in East Lindsey District Council planning documents.

Plans to renovate the Grosvenor House Hotel have been submitted to East Lindsey District Council.

The Grosvenor House Hotel went on the market in the spring with a guide price of £975,000. It was sold to John Ling & Son Ltd for an undisclosed sum in the summer by former owner Russell Sparkes, who has now moved out of the town.

Mr Ling has applied to East Lindsey District Council to extend and alter existing hotel, bar and ballroom consisting of new external balcony and glass / zinc canopy.

Grosvenor House Hotel on North parade is believed to be around 100 years old, although there are conflicting views on this. The Skegness Magazine (skegness.wordpress.com) indicates that the Grosvenor House and Imperial Café was built in 1930 by Frederick Walker and the Society for Lincolnshire History & Archaeology state that the Grosvenor House Hotel was built by the Spencer family in 1922.

Planning permission was sought by previous owners in late 2016 / early 2017 for an extension to this building on the south-east corner, consisting of a modern glazed extension with a balcony above. The scheme was refused planning permission. However, since then, a new local plan policy has been adopted by East Lindsey District Council., which covers proposals in connection with heritage assets. Beyond the site, on the opposite side of North Parade and adjacent to Skegness Pier, proposals for a fast food restaurant and a large five- storey hotel on the foreshore were approved and these structures have now been completed.

The new application's heritage statement says there is "clearly a need and opportunity to renovate and modernise the Grosvenor House Hotel and Imperial Ballroom to respond to the improvements taking place in this region of Skegness"

"These proposals restore something akin to the original features of the building adding to the character and sense of place in this important part of Skegness. These alterations will facilitate local need in light of the new large modern structures recently approved in the area," the statement reads.

An outline of the proposals describes how the new owners would like to carry out internal alterations to open up the interior spaces and reorganise the bars and kitchens to both the ground and first floor. The second and third storeys which form the hotel are not part of these proposals.

On the ground floor the existing shops are not in the ownership of the applicant and no alterations are proposed to these premises.

"Externally the proposals only apply to the south and south-east elevation, where a new balcony is proposed to the south east corner at first floor level," the statement reads.

"At ground level, a glazed canopy is envisaged occupying a portion of the south elevation, incorporating structural columns and terminating at the hotel entrance.

"A balcony and fascia, also supported by columns extends around the south-east corner above the corner sweet shop. The canopy and balcony will create external covered seating areas for the bar / restaurant.

"Internally the ground floor bar and rear function room will be opened up to create a single larger space forming an enlarged bar / restaurant.

"At first floor level the existing ballroom / function space will be retained, but the existing bar will be reorganised to form a new cocktail bar which utilises the balcony space.

"The southeast corner at first floor level has previously been infilled with glazing, which will be removed and replaced. The windows could be located in a different position in order to enlarge the balcony zone. This would then reflect the original building configuration when the premises was first constructed.

"The proposals include a small glass canopy over the hotel entrance on the south elevation and a louvred wall at the west end of the external seated area to provide a wind break."

The overview states It is important to note that many of the original architectural features of this building have been lost due to changes over the 90-100 years of the building’s life.

"This scheme should be seen as an opportunity to regain some of the original grandeur and high quality which would have been important at this significant location, opposite the Skegness Pier," the statement reads.

"At present the building is missing much of its prominence. Whilst the mock tudor features on the upper floors remain, the ground floor has been subject to dramatic change in the form of unsympathetic modern projections and fascias to highlight the small shops and bars on the frontage."