Multimillion pound Old Ship hotel upgrade given green light

A drawing showing the proposed extensions

A Brighton seafront hotel has been given planning permission to carry out a multimillion-pound upgrade.

The Old Ship Hotel will be able to have 54 more bedrooms, a standalone restaurant, six shops along the front of the building and a swimming pool with a retractable roof.

The revamp also includes a six-storey extension at the rear of the building, refurbished bars, a health club and a basement night club.

Members of Brighton and Hove City Council were told this afternoon (Wednesday 6 November) that the plans would encourage more people to use Ship Street.

And the scheme would provide better pedestrian links between The Lanes and the seafront.

The proposal was unanimously approved by the council’s Planning Committee at Hove Town Hall.

Green councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, a former chair of the Planning Committee, would like to have seen the plans include more to improve the “public realm”.

Labour councillor Daniel Yates agreed but said: “This will bring a significant improvement to the way that Black Lion Street looks. At the moment it looks more like you’ve walked into a goods yard.

“It will improve the frontage, the ‘sideage’ and the ‘backage’! Overall it’s an improvement.”

After permission was granted for the scheme, Labour councillor Tracey Hill, who chairs the council’s Planning Committee, said: “The Old Ship Hotel is one of our oldest landmark buildings on the seafront and this shows how sensitive planning can successfully combine contemporary and heritage buildings.

“The plans will also improve the street scene and the extra bed spaces will be a welcome addition to the city as a conference and tourism destination.”

The hotel consists of a number of different buildings, including the Assembly Rooms which were built in 1767, before the Royal Pavilion, and which are now grade II* listed.

Most of the buildings that make up the hotel date from the 19th century and the hotel is in the Old Town Conservation Area.

The site has had a hotel on it since at least 1559, when the Shippe Inn in Ship Street was recorded there.

In 1650, it became known as the Old Ship Inn and, in 1703, it gained sea views when buildings at the bottom of Ship Street were swept away.

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