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Essendine Hotel could be turned into business units

An abandoned hotel - branded an eyesore- could well be demolished and replaced with small business units.

Ben Gunner, of the Bourne-based Alexandra Property Group, has applied to Rutland County Council to demolish the former Essendine Hotel. In the application, he intends to submit plans for light industrial units.

The application says the old 1,800 square foot hotel, which has been empty for 14 years, has fallen into disrepair and is economically unviable. Thus, the 0.58ha site should be cleared for 'safe and efficient redevelopment'.

The Essendine Hotel (8337972)
The Essendine Hotel (8337972)

Mr Gunner says he hopes to relocate his existing electrical engineering company Switchserve from its existing site in Spalding Road, Bourne, where the growing business which employs seven people, can further expand.

He bought the site last year and recently spoke about his proposals to Essendine Parish Council and reports they welcomed the plans as an improvement.

An architect is drawing up designs and Mr Gunner hopes to submit plans later this year, with completion of the scheme in one to two years. His business would want an office and store and there would be small starter units for small family firms.

He told the Rutland Times: “We are growing steadily every year. We needed somewhere to grow into and give us a chance to secure the business for the long term. We will be ideally placed for out staff who in live in Stamford and Bourne. We are also ideally based in the middle of the country for our staff to travel around.”

Essendine Parish Council chairman, Ian Collis, recalled how the hotel hosted celebrations for the 1938 record speed attempt for the Mallard Steam train which did 126mph on the East Coast Mainline between Little Bytham and Essendine. People would also stay at the hotel before taking the train to London. But now the hotel was unusable, derelict and an ‘ugly building.’

Coun Collis added: “What he [Ben Gunner] is planning is rather better.”

Adele Stainsby, who runs the Essendine post office, said villagers had mixed feelings, with some thinking it would be nice for the current building to stay. But she said the old hotel was not sustainable.

She added: “I think it’s an eyesore. If we can replace it, it will be something better than that.”

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