Beside the seaside

• The story of the Royal Hotel in Bognor Regis is an intriguing one. The property, on the Sussex town’s seafront, is currently for sale, complete with planning permission for a conversion in to 18 luxury apartments.

But the local council, in an ongoing bid to preserve some of the town’s best buildings, is keen to buy the Royal itself and renovate the rather tired property in to a new boutique hotel. It has already purchased and renovated the town’s Picturedrome cinema.

In a statement, the town council said: “Having successfully purchased and restored the Picturedrome Cinema the council is keen to do the same with this iconic hotel designed by architect and surveyor Arthur Smith, who designed the Picturedrome and Reynolds Building in the town.”

We will watch with interest to see if the South Coast will get a new tax-payer owned boutique hotel, and if so, who will operate it.

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