THE much-anticipated redevelopment of the former Three Cups Hotel in Lyme Regis has been put on hold to to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The former hotel, owned by Bridport-based Palmer’s Brewery, has stood empty in Broad Street since its closure about 30 years ago.
After much campaigning for its redevelopment, things were starting to look up at the beginning of 2020 when managing director John Palmer said the company were “really excited” about new plans for the Three Cups, following its successful refurbishment of The Pilot Boat.
Mr Palmer said the plans would maintain the essential historic elements of the property, with a restaurant and letting rooms of the highest modern standards “to enhance the facilities in the town”.
Speaking in March 2020 – just before the coronavirus pandemic broke out in the UK, he added that the initial plans for the site had been reduced so the project could be completed much quicker, with considerably less disturbance to others, adding: “We are really keen to get started in earnest.”
The original scheme envisaged the main building fronting Broad Street having a retail unit downstairs and luxury flats above, a signature restaurant at the rear with view over Lyme Bay, a number of beach-style huts as letting rooms, town houses and shops and an underground car park.
When the plans were first revealed it was confirmed in 2019, it was confirmed the scheme would cost £5million and start within three years.
However, with the Palmer’s portfolio of pubs and restaurants having been hit by the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Palmers said plans for the Three Cups had been put on hold.
He said: “The impact of the pandemic on the hospitality business cannot be underestimated forcing in our case the closure of the brewery and our pubs.
“Despite our business having effectively been shut down for nearly a year, we have continued to support our licensees throughout this period with significant rent holidays so as to ensure that now things are opening up that our pubs are best placed to provide what our customers want.
“Quite understandably therefore, significant capital projects such as the Three Cups redevelopment have had to be put on hold whilst we concentrate getting our core business re established.
“Rest assured, however, that we are keen to get things moving again as soon as we are able, by pursuing the revised scheme for the site that we tabled last year with the town council and neighbours.”