Approval to turn historic city hotel into student accommodation

By Natalia Forero, Local Democracy Reporter

Dolphin Hotel LDRSApproval has been granted to convert a historic Southampton high street hotel into student accommodation despite concerns that the city’s heritage will be lost.
Photo: LDRS



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The Dolphin Hotel’s application involves converting the grade II*-listed building into 99 student bedrooms.

However, the application attracted numerous objections from residents, councillors, tourism groups, resident groups and the Hampshire Branch of the Jane Austen Society.

The literary great was one of the famous guests in the hotel’s past, which reportedly also included Queen Victoria and Admiral Lord Nelson.

A representative of the Old Town Community Forum said at the planning committee (July 9) that the market demand for student accommodation is “unclear” and that there is more student accommodation than is needed in the city centre.

On behalf of the applicant, John Steven said that the company has been leasing with the hotel for over 20 years and that they have a “love” for the building and want to do something with it to protect and preserve it.

He added: “It is really suffering. We haven’t had the ability to invest in it, and it needs investment. We looked at everything, residential, student accommodation, and Airbnb equivalence, and this is the only option we found to generate enough money to invest in the property.

“I think it will bring a vibrant business.”

Regarding comments on “not having any regard to historical buildings in the city”, the planning officers said that the project will retain the nature of the building.

ldrs logo 200px This article is from the Local Democracy Reporting Service or Shared Data Unit. Some alterations and additions may have been made by our site, which is a partner in the BBC's Local News Partnerships scheme. LDRS journalists are funded by the BBC to cover local authorities and other public service organisations, and content is shared with all partners.

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