Charmouth hotel applies to change to residential use

Abbots House
Abbots House in The Street, Charmouth

A CHARMOUTH hotel has requested permission to change to residential use with two self-contained holiday units.

A planning application for the change has been lodged with Dorset Council by the owners of the grade II listed Abbots House in The Street, Charmouth.

The building was previously The Queens Arms and is thought to have been built in the 16th century by an Abbot of Forde Abbey.

The building has been run in the past as a restaurant with rooms, and later as a bed and breakfast with four rooms. The restaurant use later changed to a monthly ‘pop up’ session.

The property had been offered for sale as a going concern in 2012 and 2015 but received no offers.

One of the holiday units was created following a 2017 planning consent with the other unit on the ground floor within a 1930s extension.

Both units can be booked for a minimum of two days, according to application papers, with bookings managed via Airbnb.

Said a letter to the council from a planning agent: “The seaside holiday market has changed considerably since the applicants started the Abbots House.

“There have always been some properties in Charmouth that have been available to rent for week-long holidays (weekends out of season), usually with two, three or four bedrooms.

“Now there are dozens of small apartments within people’s homes that cater for couples who wish to stay for two to seven days. These are in direct competition with traditional hotel accommodation.”

A statement in support of the changes added: “The applicants have now decided it is the right time to reduce their work commitments and have now stopped the ‘pop-up’ restaurant and concentrate on the two self-contained studio units.”

It says there will be no exterior alterations to the building as a result of the change of use application.

Comments on the application (reference number 2022/03721) can be made up until July 15 via the Dorset Council website.

By Local Democracy Reporter Trevor Bevins  

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