THE OCEAN Hotel in Sandown will have to be tidied up — after Isle of Wight Magistrates threw out its appeal against an enforcement notice this afternoon (Friday).

Phoenix Commercial Property Developments (PCPD) were fighting the notice issued to them by the Isle of Wight Council earlier this year — to clean up the dilapidated eyesore on Sandown Esplanade and High Street.

Following a fire in 2021, there had been increasing calls from the community to do something with the hotel, as its blighted the town.

PCPD, however, appealed the notice to the magistrates' court and paused the tidy-up order.

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They argued the condition of the land did not adversely affect the council's land; the requirements of the notice were too much and the time period in which to take action fell short of what should reasonably be allowed.

A first hearing to discuss the appeal was held in May but no one representing PCPD was present.

The appeal was then due to be heard at trial on August 3 but after PCPD failed to comply with the timeline set out by the court — to swap witness statements and exhibits with the council by June 23 — the court requested the matter be brought before magistrates again.

Representing the council, Edward Elton, said the council had tried to contact PCPD via email and the registered address on Companies House but had received no response.

The council's paper bundle physically sent to the address was returned to the authority.

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Following that, the Isle of Wight Court contacted PCPD, giving them 48 hours to contact the council, which they failed to do.

Now, ten days later, the authority has still yet to hear from PCPD.

Addressing the court today, Mr Elton told magistrates it was their duty not to needlessly prolong cases and with no other party present, called for the appeal to be thrown out.

Isle of Wight County Press: The Isle of Wight Combined Courts in Newport.The Isle of Wight Combined Courts in Newport.

Agreeing with Mr Elton, presiding magistrate Paul Gane said PCPD had ample opportunity to make its thoughts and presence felt, by email or by communicating with the court or council.

He said none of that had happened so the appeal was dismissed.

The magistrates' determined PCPD will have to pay £2,000 towards the council's legal costs, which Mr Elton said was only part of the expense it would take to get to this stage.

Sandown Cllr Ian Ward, who was present in court today, said he was really pleased with the outcome and the decision the magistrates made not to allow PCPD to carry on and on.

The enforcement notice will now start again, meaning PCPD have two months, from today, July 15, to comply with the 13 actions of the Section 215 notice and four months to finish all of the 15.

They include:

  • Removing the steel supports from the former entrance canopy fronting the Esplanade
  • Cutting all vegetation down to ground level, removing the waste and applying a suitable weedkiller
  • Removing all building materials, litter and vegetation across the site and on the access steps and boundary walls
  • Cutting back hedgerow
  • Removing trailing ivy
  • Repairing boundary fencing next to the High Street
  • Cleaning all windows and door glass panes fronting the High Street
  • Cleaning the door and window canopies serving the main entrance to the hotel and first-floor windows of the Kings Bar so they are free of mould and dirt

The further action to be completed in four months requires the rendered elevation fronting the High Street cleaned and any flaking paint or defective masonry / render from the elevation be removed.

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PCPD is also facing criminal charges for failing to comply with a Community Protection Notice issued by Hampshire Constabulary which lapsed earlier this week.

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