A major redevelopment of a 'dilapidated' building in a prominent position on an Isle of Wight seafront has been rejected.

The government's Planning Inspectorate has refused planning permission for Hamlet Court in Cowes.

It said it should not be demolished if it can be retained, adding it makes a positive impact on the surrounding conservation area.

Developer and partial freehold owner, Hamlet Court Regeneration, wanted to pull down the nearly 200-year-old building and replace it with two luxury villas.

Plans were submitted to the Isle of Wight Council in May 2022.

Isle of Wight County Press: A potential before and after of the plans. Picture by The Manser Practice.A potential before and after of the plans. Picture by The Manser Practice.

Because County Hall did not make a decision in the statutory time-frame, the matter was passed to the Planning Inspectorate at the developer's request.

The Planning Inspectorate said the complete loss of Hamlet Court, which is described as a waterfront villa, would be harmful to the conservation area.

It said there was a lack of information to justify its demolition and pointed to an overall loss of residential accommodation, as two houses would not make up for the seven flats currently in the building.

It recognised the poor condition of Hamlet Court, but said the alternative plans would not preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the conservation area.

It called the design of the proposed new builds 'heavily glazed' and 'incongruous' against neighbouring dark roofs and smaller-scale properties.

However, improved site security and the economic benefit of the plans were noted.

Meanwhile, Hamlet Court Regeneration has already submitted a revised application but it has yet to be considered by planners at County Hall.