Lincolnshire

Skegness seafront hotel land sale halted by campaigners

North Parade Image copyright Google
Image caption Campaigners say a large hotel next to the pier would spoil the feel of the resort

Plans to sell land in Skegness to a major hotel chain have been halted after campaigners applied for the right to keep it for community use.

East Lindsey District Council which was considering selling the seafront site to Premier Inn for development.

The authority said it would now consider a bid from the Save the Foreshore Group.

Members of the group, which includes local hoteliers, have also launched a rival commercial bid.

By law, the authority now has up to eight weeks to consider the application.

If approved, campaigners will have a further six months to prepare their own offer to buy the land.

'Open spaces'

Hotel owner and co-chairman Russell Sparkes said he was prepared to beat any offer for the land by £10,000.

He said: "We fully support any major chain coming to the town - but not there.

"This is recreational land that should be used for recreation.

"This is why people come to Skegness - the open spaces - the beaches - this is exactly what Lord Scarborough intended."

Image caption Skegness gets more than four million visitors each year, and is aiming to attract investment in order to extend the holiday season

In 1922, Lord Scarborough sold the Pier Field site to Skegness Urban District Council on the condition that no buildings were erected.

Since then it has hosted various entertainment events, including the Radio 1 Roadshow in the 1990s.

All building restrictions were lifted in 2006.

Chairman of the Skegness East Coast and Wolds Hospitality Association Nigel Tett, who wants the area kept as recreational land, said: "Businesses are not worried about having someone like Premier Inn in the town - to the contrary, they would help put Skegness on the map."

A spokesman for East Lindsey District Council said plans to discuss the sale of the land at a meeting on Tuesday had now been put on hold after it received the community asset application.

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