Are we to see an end to coach holidays to Eastbourne?
The Borough Council will this evening (14 September) discuss relaxing rules to make it easier for budget hotels and B&Bs to cut through red tape and convert into residential buildings.
It’s claimed there are too many hotel rooms available in the town and larger establishments are being forced to lower their prices to try and encourage guests to stay here, especially during the quieter winter months.
The Council say times have changed, with seaside holidays less attractive than they used to be and the number of coach trips have dropped. They also say more people take shorter, but more frequent breaks and expect a premium quality room for their stay.
The authority wants to focus on the seafront having prime hotels, to make the town more upmarket. It follows findings in The Tourist Accommodation Study (2015), which considered Eastbourne to have an oversupply of lower quality accommodation. There are currently around 3,500 rooms available in Eastbourne and it’s thought the idea to allow some guest houses to convert away from the tourism trade would take some 500 off of the market.
However, the proposals being put forward would see businesses having to prove their have run their accommodation properly and have tried to sell it as a going concern in a proper manner, before being allowed to request a change of use permit application.
If the ideas are passed tonight, they could come into force as early as Spring next year.