Royal Clarence Hotel up for sale ‘with sadness’

Ross Bryant
Ross Bryant

The owners of the Royal Clarence Hotel, Exeter, which was destroyed by fire in 2016 have announced that the site is up for sale. The developers have concluded that they could not viably restore the hotel to its former glory.

The Andrew Brownsword Hotels group, who also own Gidleigh Park on Dartmoor, say The Royal Clarence Hotel has undergone “significant” restoration work since the fire. The hotel’s owner, Andrew Brownsword, said he was “deeply saddened” to announce plans for the sale but conceded his group were “unable to deliver a new hotel”.

Andrew Brownsword said: “The extensive recovery and preparation work that has been completed at the site means it now offers an excellent opportunity for the next stage of development and I have had to concede that this will be realised by others.  It was always my vision to deliver a new hotel at the level of luxury and quality as others within our group, however, the financial and resource investment made in the demolition, historic restoration and enabling works has been significant and this has meant that it is regretfully unviable for us to develop the level of hotel that we had envisaged.”

In response to the announcement Exeter City Council leader Cllr Phil Bialyk said: “This is a very important building for Exeter – it is a landmark building. Planning permission is in place to rebuild it, and we would hope to see it returned to its former glory as soon as possible.”

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