Councillor calls for action over Newport's Royal Victoria Hotel which has become town's 'shame'

A town councillor has issued fresh calls to secure the future of a 193-year-old former hotel which has become the town's 'shame'.

The Royal Victoria Hotel has become an eyesore in the town, with a councillor calling for something to be done
The Royal Victoria Hotel has become an eyesore in the town, with a councillor calling for something to be done

The Royal Victoria Hotel, located on St Mary's Street in Newport, dates back to 1830 and gained its name from the late British Queen who visited the hotel in 1832.

The Royal Victoria Hotel has become an eyesore in the town, with a councillor calling for something to be done

It extended over its many years in operation – with the building of a grand ballroom and cocktail bar in 1910 – before it eventually closed to the public in 2015.

Photo taken from Shropshire Star archive from the collection of the late Malcolm Miles of Newport. Royal Victoria Hotel dated 1959

But despite its wealth of history and its status as a Grade II listed building, the hotel now stands in a state of disrepair – and is becoming known as the new "shame of Newport".

Responding to residents' complaints about the hotel, borough councillor Peter Scott for Newport West, said: "It's particularly awful and it needs sorting out.

"It's in a terrible, terrible state and people are worried about it – at the moment the hotel sits decaying with scaffolding."

The Royal Victoria Hotel has become an eyesore in the town, with a councillor calling for something to be done

Councillor Scott said fears had been raised to him about the abandoned building becoming a hotspot for anti-social behaviour and drug dealing.

Concerns have also been raised by residents over the safety of the building, Peter said, considering what happened to 'Tucker's' in the late 1980s.

Tucker's hardware store was located on Newport High Street and collapsed in August 1989, leaving behind a large gap in the street scene.

The collapse of the former Tuckers ironmongers shop in Newport. It happened during work on the building on August 3, 1989.

Three people were hurt in the fall and Councillor Scott believes one person later died from their injuries.

The gap in the street scene was dubbed "The Shame of Newport" by the local community, before the site was developed into Newport Library.

Responding to residents' complaints, Councillor Scott is making enquiries about the possibility of a compulsory purchase of the hotel, in which the land could be acquired without the consent of the owner.

"I'm going to make it a campaign of mine and I want people of the town to get behind it and see if we can get anyone interested in buying it or by compulsory purchasing it," he said.

Planning permission was granted in November 2021 for the site to be transformed into 17 apartments, with parking provision to the rear of the site.

But nothing has happened in the two years since – and the building is still on the market with local estate agents Davies White & Perry for £900,000.

According to the Government website, compulsory purchase powers can be enforced for the delivery of a range of infrastructure projects which are in the public interest.

"As a borough councillor and a representative of the West Ward, I want to see something done and I'm doing what I can to push it through," Mr Scott added.

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