Harry Redknapp under fire over his property firm’s plans to evict 28 homeless people from former hotel he wants to turn into five luxury homes
- The former footballer manager’s development company submits new proposal
- Firm hopes to turn Belgravia Hotel in Bournemouth, Dorset, into 14 apartments
- Hotel has been used as a bedsit for 28 vulnerable homeless people since 1992
- The proposal has already been rejected on two occasions by the local council
The development firm of Harry Redknapp and his wife Sandra (pictured on Tuesday) hope to turn a former hotel into luxury flats
I’m A Celebrity winner Harry Redknapp has been slammed over his latest plans to evict 28 homeless people from a former hotel he wants to turn into luxury flats.
The former footballer manager’s development company has submitted a planning application to turn the Belgravia Hotel in Bournemouth, Dorset, into 14 apartments.
The building ceased being used as a hotel in 1992 and since then an elderly couple have run it as a bedsit for 28 vulnerable homeless people.
Should the plans, which includes five mew-style homes on the site, get the go-ahead, those living in the hotel would be evicted.
The proposal has already been rejected on two occasions by the local council, with an application for 21 flats turned down in December.
Pierfront Developments, of which Mr Redknapp and his wife Sandra are directors, bought the property in 2016 for £1.25million.
Gerry and Wendy Hunt, who took over the Belgravia Hotel in 1988, say they were allowed to remain on the site as tenants following the initial purchase.
Planners at Bournemouth Borough Council had concerns about the loss of the building, that is in a East Cliff conservation area.
The building ceased being used as a hotel in 1992 and since then an elderly couple have run it as a bedsit for 28 vulnerable homeless people (pictured)
The Redknapps, who visited a homeless shelter in Bournemouth last month to give out food to vulnerable people, have now returned with a third bid.
The new project would see the existing three-storey building retained but converted into flats.
The Hunts said the new proposal was ‘unnecessary’ and accused Pierfront Developments of showing a ‘lack of compassion’.
Mr Hunt, 81, said: ‘There are 28 people living here who would have nowhere to go.
‘I thought he had given up so it was a hammer blow to see he is still going for it. There is a lack of compassion.
The new project would see the existing three-storey building retained but converted into flats
‘I hope it doesn’t go through as we’ve run it for 30 years but there’s nothing we can do. We can’t afford to fight the proposal.’
Mrs Hunt, 79, added: ‘We’re not so much worried for us as for the tenants who we took without a deposit. They would be back on the streets if they get evicted.
‘The plan is very unnecessary. There are so many other places he can build blocks of flats and he doesn’t have to choose somewhere homeless people are living.’
Planning officers rejected the first application for the site in February 2017, when it comprised 32 flats.
None of the flats in the latest plan would be ‘affordable’ due to a viability assessment which found it would only be feasible to include them ‘on reduced profit margins’.
The application will be considered by Bournemouth Borough Council in the coming weeks.
A spokesperson for Pierfront Developments told MailOnline: ‘The current tenants’ lease had expired upon which notice was served by Pierfront Developments.
‘The current tenants will be vacating end of January 2019, in line with their lease and statutory compensation will apply.
‘Legal representatives of both parties are fully satisfied with the arrangements.’
Gerry and Wendy Hunt, who took over the Belgravia Hotel (pictured) in 1988, say they were allowed to remain on the site as tenants following the initial purchase