Planning Round-Up: Historic Lyme Regis guest house could be returned to residential use

Old Lyme Guest House
The Old Lyme Guest House in Coombe Street, Lyme Regis

ONE of Lyme Regis’ most historic houses could be returned to residential use after serving as a guest house for many years.

A planning application has been submitted to Dorset Council to convert the Old Lyme Guest House in Coombe Street into a family home.

The planning application states that the current owners are intending to sell the property following “prolonged periods of vacancy” during the coronavirus pandemic.

It added: “They have received no interest from any potential buyers wishing to continue the use of the property as a guesthouse. The new owners of the property are proposing to change the use of the property to become a single dwelling house for their permanent family home and have three children enrolled in local schools.”

The Old Lyme Guest House dates back to the 17th century. In the mid 18th century, it was the home of the Norman family when Coombe Street was then known as Horse Street and was the main pack horse route out of town.

In August 1799 John Norman was appointed postmaster and the building became Lyme’s first post office. It remained a post office for 54 years until 1853 when it moved to a site in Broad Street.

The wooden posting box can still be seen in its original place in the front of the building. It is said to be one of the oldest in post boxes in England and thought to be where author Jane Austen posted a letter to her sister, Cassandra, dated September 14 1804 during one of her visits to Lyme.

B! Health & Fitness
B! Health & Fitness off Uplyme Road in Lyme Regis

Lyme Regis gym applies for 24/7 opening hours

Lyme Regis gym B! Health & Fitness has requested permission to remain open 24 hours a day.

The gym has been operating in St George’s House on Uplyme Road, for almost eight years but is now hoping to extend its opening hours to help it fairly compete with other gym facilities in neighbouring towns, some of which already offer 24/7 access to their members.

Owner Craig Bernhardt said extending the opening hours would particularly benefit Lyme Regis members, many of whom work in the hospitality trade and therefore work unsociable hours.

The gym currently closes at 9pm on weekdays, 5pm on Saturdays and 4pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

If permission as grant to exited the opening hours, the gym would not be manned by staff overnight, but would be fitted with Hikvision CCTV systems and would only be accessible by full-paying members.

Music controls would remain inaccessible to members, who would be asked to use personal headphones only between 10pm and 6am.

Any breach in rules would result in termination of membership.

Russell House
Russell House in Lym Close, Lyme Regis, is split into several units

Plans for new holiday let in Lym Close

Planning permission is being sought to change a light industrial unit in Lym Close, Lyme Regis, into a holiday let.

Plans have been submitted to change Unit 2 at Russell House, behind Lyme Launderette, into a one-bedroom holiday let.

The building has historically been divided into small units for light industrial use, but in recent times a number of the units have been given planning permission to become live/work spaces.

The applicant says the change would have no detrimental impact on the surrounding area, and would actually reduce noise pollution associated with light industrial use.

It would be suggested that visitors to the holiday let use a public car park for parking so as not to amplify parking issues for residents.

Woodmead Halls

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