PLANS are being ‘worked on’ for a landmark hotel on Aberystwyth’s promenade that has been boarded up ever since a fire at a neighbouring hotel caused it to close.
The Belle Vue Hotel suffered fire damage following an arson attack at the neighbouring Belgrave Hotel in July 2018 – which has since been raised to the ground and rebuilt.
Ceredigion County Council told the Cambrian News that owners of the Belle Vue Hotel “are working on plans” to bring it back to life.
Five years on from the fire, the prominent Georgian seafront hotel - that has graced the promenade for almost 200 years - remains closed with calls regularly made to bring it back into use.
But now plans are in the works to reinstate the building following the extensive work to repair the fabric of the building.
With plans in their infancy, no details of what it is proposed are available.
Aberystwyth Town Councillor Mair Benjamin said she has been calling for the building to be renovated “for several years”, but “nothing had been done”.
“Like a lot of buildings, all we have seen is scaffolding and boards up,” she said.
Since the blaze in 2018, owners of the Belle Vue have rebuilt the section of roof adjoining the Belgrave, which was completely demolished by the blaze, with sections of the supporting wall also having to be rebuilt.
That permission was granted by Ceredigion County Council planners in 2019, with work delayed due to legal issues surrounding the party wall and ongoing insurance claims.
That work included the part rebuilding of the superstructure to the north end, including the party wall, rear elevation wall and front elevation gable before the roof could be rebuilt.
A Ceredigion County Council spokesperson told the Cambrian News: “We are aware that the owners are working on plans for the Council to consider.
“The council would support reinstating the building as it would promote one of our Corporate Well-being Objectives, identified in the Corporate Strategy for 2022-2027, which would be to boost the economy, support businesses and enable employment.”
The Morgans family, owners of the Belle Vue Hotel, has not responded to requests for a comment on the plans as the Cambrian News went to press.
The family also bought the prominent seafront 1920s Esplanade Hotel in Llandudno in December 2020 after the previous owners entered voluntary liquidation.
Guest Juozas Tunaitis was killed in the fire at Ty Belgrave on 25 July 2018 and another guest, Richard Simnett, suffered major injuries when he fell while trying to escape the blaze with his family.
Damion Harris, of Llanbadarn, admitted starting the fire, but said he could not remember why he had done it. Harris was sentenced to 16 years in prison after admitting manslaughter, arson and causing grievous bodily harm.