Plans to demolish the Grand Hotel in Sandown are to be discussed by the Isle of Wight Council.
PLANS to demolish an iconic Isle of Wight seafront hotel are due to go before councillors next Tuesday.
Sandown-based Isle of Wight Hotels Ltd wants to pull down the The Grand Hotel, opened in 1938, and build a five-storey, 53-bedroom replacement.
However, Isle of Wight Council planning officers have said the plans would result in the loss of a prominent historical building and recommend they be rejected by the planning committee next.
Officers added that the proposed replacement would have an unacceptable and intrusive impact on the character and appearance of the area.
Their report concluded: "Officers do not raise objection to the principle of the loss of the building, but it is considered the parameters presented for the replacement scheme are of a scale and mass which would have a detrimental impact on the character of the area and would have an unacceptable impact on the setting of a number of heritage assets."
The application has attracted 32 letters of objection and just two letters of support.
The Twentieth Century Society, which objected to the scheme, said the interiors of the building — said to be one of the only remaining Art Deco buildings on the Isle of Wight — were remarkably intact and rare survivors of the period.
Island Watch objected on the grounds the existing hotel could be easily restored.
Sandown Town Council has not objected to the scheme and argued a new, purpose-built, first class hotel would aid the town’s regeneration.
In the committee report, planning officers also note the "highly significant" role the building played in the PLUTO (Pipeline Under The Ocean) operation during the Second World War, but said there no longer appeared to be access to the basement where the control room was located.
"From a site visit it is clear that, with the exception of the revolving doors and lobby area, little of the original internal historically significant features survive," the report states.
It added that officers had been willing to negotiate alterations to the scheme to reduce its mass and scale, but these were not supported by the applicant.
In its heyday, the Grand was one most exclusive hotels of Sandown Bay, with its own cinema, and was reputedly fitted out with joinery recovered from the Aquitania, a Cunard Line ocean liner which was scrapped.