The Parkbury Hotel was once a jewel in Sandown's tourism offer but overnight it has (again) gone up in flames.

The long-derelict building was on fire through the early hours - the latest blaze in a long time of blazes.

Situated on The Broadway, the Parkbury was run successfully as a hotel for several decades, and was receiving glowing reviews on TripAdvisor until 2018.

Among the former owners was Bill Churchill, who owned the hotel in the 1970s and 1980s. His former son-in-law Steve Phillips said the wooden panelling on the inside was from an ocean liner.

Isle of Wight County Press: The Parkbury Hotel on fire this morningThe Parkbury Hotel on fire this morning (Image: Sandown Hub.)

Indeed, the lounges were named the Cunard White Star Lounge, the Aquitania Lounge and the Parkbury Lounge.

Other former owners were Ray and Marie Maxfield, who in the year 2000 took a share in a family partnership to buy and run the Parkbury Hotel. They sold up four years later.

All the bedrooms were en-suite, and there were larger family suites available.

The downfall started when the hotel was later bought by the controversial Carlauren Group, which then collapsed.

Carlauren had bought 25 properties across the UK, including the Parkbury, Sandown's King's House and the seafront Ocean Hotel.

All three of the Sandown properties fell into disrepair. The Ocean Hotel also suffered a major fire in May 2021 - after it was sold by the joint liquidators of the Carlauren Group.

Since then, the fight has been on to tidy up the derelict seafront site.

The Parkbury, a 40-bedroom hotel, was put on the open market in 2020 as having development potential. It remained on the market untouched for years.

Concerns had been raised on social media as far back as 2019 about the amount of rubbish, mattresses and furniture dumped in the grounds of the Parkbury.

In July 2022 there was a major fire.

Isle of Wight County Press: The scene in July 2022The scene in July 2022

Following the fire, the police issued a Community Protection Notice Warning to the hotel owner to insist the site was secured.

In September 2022, amid ongoing concerns about the safety of the site, police said they were threatened with a pole when they investigated a break-in at the Parkbury. Four youths were arrested.

In April 2023 fire crews were called to the Parkbury after a fire broke out in an outbuilding. It was treated as arson and police appealed for witnesses.

In May 2023 two men were arrested for alleged burglary of the Parkbury premises, police said, but were later "de-arrested". The allegation at the time was that they were caught with bolt croppers and wire cutters, stripping the hotel of copper fittings.