Ocean Hotel former owners take council appeal to higher court

Ocean Hotel former owners take council appeal to higher court <i>(Image: Newsquest)</i>
Ocean Hotel former owners take council appeal to higher court (Image: Newsquest)

THE SAGA surrounding the Isle of Wight's Ocean Hotel in Sandown continues, as its former owners prepare to head back to court in December, in an ongoing legal battle with the Isle of Wight Council.

A date is set for the start of next month.

In February, the Isle of Wight Council issued a Section 215 order to force Durham-based Phoenix Commercial Property Development (PCPD) to tidy up the hotel on the Esplanade.

The local authority said the building's appearance significantly harmed the land around it and the town itself and it set out 15 actions, which PCPD was required to comply with by July 11, including repairing fencing, removing greenery and cleaning the property.

Within months, PCPD appealed but magistrates later dismissed the case because they said the owners had failed to meet deadlines set by the court, as well as citing a lack of communication with the Isle of Wight Council.

With the appeal dismissed, the countdown to clean the building up resumed and magistrates ordered PCPD to pay £2,000 towards the council's legal costs.

In recent weeks, a new appeal has got underway at Durham Crown Court, challenging the Isle of Wight Magistrates' July decision -and putting a hold on work to clean up the site.

The derelict Ocean Hotel has been beset with problems,  including a fire in May 2021, break-ins and vandalism.

Built in 1899, the Ocean Hotel was one of the jewels along Sandown Esplanade.

Before it was transformed by a West End theatrical impresario into the Ocean Hotel, it was the King's Head and welcomed guests including Charles Darwin and Lewis Carroll.

People in Sandown made their feelings heard, earlier this year, by protesting outside one of the court hearings in Newport.

In September, PCPD said it had sold the Ocean Hotel's freehold to a new owner.