Former football manager Harry Redknapp has won a bid to convert a former hotel and replace it with 14 luxury flats, making 20 people homeless.

Mr Redknapp, 71, and his wife Sandra bought the property for £1.25million in 2016.

They have twice failed to convince the council to let them turn the former Belgravia Hotel into luxury residences, but a third bid has been approved by planning bosses.

The building houses 24 bedsits which are used by vulnerable people in Bournemouth, Dorset.

Among those living there are people with disabilities and cancer sufferers, who Redknapp issued with eviction notices earlier this year.

Mr Redknapp, 71, and his wife Sandra bought the property for £1.25million in 2016

Mr Redknapp, 71, and his wife Sandra bought the property for £1.25million in 2016

Mr Redknapp, 71, and his wife Sandra bought the property for £1.25million in 2016

Under the plans, the former Southampton manager will convert the hotel into 14 flats and an adjoining coach house will be turned into five mews-style houses

Under the plans, the former Southampton manager will convert the hotel into 14 flats and an adjoining coach house will be turned into five mews-style houses

Under the plans, the former Southampton manager will convert the hotel into 14 flats and an adjoining coach house will be turned into five mews-style houses

Under the plans, the former Southampton manager will convert the hotel into 14 flats and an adjoining coach house will be turned into five mews-style houses

Under the plans, the former Southampton manager will convert the hotel into 14 flats and an adjoining coach house will be turned into five mews-style houses

Under the plans, the former Southampton manager will convert the hotel into 14 flats and an adjoining coach house will be turned into five mews-style houses

Landlady Wendy Hunt (centre) pictured above with tenants at the Belgravia Hotel in Bournemouth

Landlady Wendy Hunt (centre) pictured above with tenants at the Belgravia Hotel in Bournemouth

Landlady Wendy Hunt (centre) pictured above with tenants at the Belgravia Hotel in Bournemouth

Under the plans, the former Southampton manager will convert the hotel into 14 flats and an adjoining coach house will be turned into five mews-style houses.

In a planning statement submitted to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, planning agent Tom Whild, said: ‘Although the site is referred to as Belgravia Hotel, it has been some years since it was last used as a hotel.

‘It has been converted to provide self-contained bedsit accommodation and the former coach house is occupied as a dwelling.

‘The proposals would formalise the existing residential use and ensure a high standard of residential accommodation can be provided.’

Wendy Hunt, 79, and her husband Gerry, 81, started running the building as a hotel 30 years ago.

However, Redknapp’s development company Pierfront paid £1.25million for the freehold of the building in March 2016, and subsequently became the Hunts’ landlord.

Harry and his wife Sandra (pictured above) had previously handed out Jam-roly poly pudding to rough sleepers just down the road from the hotel

Harry and his wife Sandra (pictured above) had previously handed out Jam-roly poly pudding to rough sleepers just down the road from the hotel

Harry and his wife Sandra (pictured above) had previously handed out Jam-roly poly pudding to rough sleepers just down the road from the hotel

The couple are among those who will be made homeless now the plan has been approved, along with their son who uses a wheelchair.

Resident Gary Bennett, who has lived at Belgravia Hotel since March 2013, said: ‘I do not wish to move, the landlady has been so kind to me since being here.

‘I was homeless for about two years before I got into the Belgravia.’

Stuart Thomas, added: ‘I have lived at the Belgravia since October 2018, I was homeless before this and Mr and Mrs Hunt kindly took me in with no deposit.

‘If the Belgravia shuts down this is going to affect many lives.

‘Mr and Mrs Hunt have been a great help to so many people at Belgravia by giving people a chance when noone is interested in helping the homeless.’

But while council officers expressed concerns about the loss of the HMO (House of Multiple Occupation) they stressed that the improvements to the building outweighed this.

A Notice of Proposed Development (pictured above) outside the Belgravia Hotel

A Notice of Proposed Development (pictured above) outside the Belgravia Hotel

A Notice of Proposed Development (pictured above) outside the Belgravia Hotel

In a decision notice issued last month, Bournemouth and Poole Council planning officer Tom Hubbard, said: ‘Sympathy is extended to occupants in this respect but it is understood that the sublease for the existing HMO has already been revoked and this does not have significant bearing on planning considerations.

‘The loss of HMO accommodation is not resisted in the local plan, however the council’s housing team is aware of the situation.’

The King of the Jungle owns a £3.5m mansion in nearby millionaire’s retreat Sandbanks.

The home is spread over four floors with floor-to-ceiling glass and a number of separate balcony areas with views overlooking the sea.

It is accessed via wooden steps leading down from the beachfront and has a large terrace area where he can dine and relax outdoors with his wife Sandra.

During his stint in the jungle, he raved about his love of sponge pudding Jam Roly Poly.

And he was then seen handing out the treat to homeless people in Bournemouth last December

His representatives have been approached for comment.

Source : Mail Online

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