A group of angry locals have been protesting outside the law courts in Newport this morning (Friday) as an appeal hearing is held over the Section 215 notice served on the Ocean Hotel in Sandown – but the matter has been adjourned.

As previously reported by Island Echothe owners of the derelict seafront hotel, Phoenix Commercial Property Development, have refused to comply with an enforcement notice issued by the Isle of Wight Council and have lodged an appeal.

The Section 215 notice was issued by the local authority in February but came into force in March, giving 4 months for the work to be carried out. Nothing has been done to date.

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Phoenix has now legally appealed the Council’s order – putting a stop on the clock – and the matter ended up before Magistrates today, where the case was adjourned until 3rd August 2022.

Representatives of Phoenix failed to attend court, despite it being an appeal at their request, and an email sent to the court claimed that the correct procedure had not been followed and that Pheonix were not aware of today’s hearing.

Edward Elton, acting on behalf of the Isle of Wight Council, encouraged Magistrates to dismiss the case after giving Phoenix’a third bite of the cherry’on what he called a’vexatious appeal’. However, with no evidence at hand that the notice of hearing had been served, the bench decided to adjourn the matter.

The case will now be heard during a 1-day hearing on 3rd August.

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Speaking about court this morning, local resident Jackie told Island Echo::

“I think it’s disgusting they are just playing for time. The Ocean Hotel is an eyesore for Sandown residents and visitors alike – it has a negative impact on businesses and people stand opposite with their mouths agape. Holidaymakers wonder why nothing is being done.

“Sandown Green Town volunteers are doing their best to brighten up the town. Sandown residents and councillors are all united in this.”

Fellow resident Sharon Merrick adds:

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“We can’t wait another day, month or year. If we’re told we have to wait any longer, we’ll clear it up ourselves. We’ll have the police on our side because they are just as fed up as We’ve already had 1 fire affecting adjoining properties. We don’t want any more businesses forced to relocate. ”

Alan Jones, of Sandown Community Association, adds:

“The site is a disgrace to the town. It’s a danger to anyone who gets into the site. There’s nothing to stop anyone from breaking in. It’s a blight on the seafront and High Street.”

In recent years, the hotel has become one of the Island’s biggest eyesores after it was abandoned. It has been the subject of vandalism and arson attacks — including one last year which saw 100 firefighters tackle a blaze which affected all 4 floors.

In a bid to continue to put pressure on the hotel’s owners to clean up the derelict site, thus ensuring public safety and the Queen’s peace in Sandown, Hampshire Constabulary has also served notice of its intention to enact a Criminal Protection Notice under the Anti-Social Behavior Crime and Policing Act 2014.

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