New Hand Picked hotel may house staff and not guests

DIFFICULTIES recruiting staff and a shortage of tourists due to Brexit has led to an application to convert Hotel Ziggurat into staff accommodation.

A planning application has been submitted to change the use at Ziggurat Hotel from visitor accommodation to staff accommodation for a temporary period. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 31276929)
A planning application has been submitted to change the use at Ziggurat Hotel from visitor accommodation to staff accommodation for a temporary period. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 31276929)

The small Moroccan-inspired hotel on Constitution Steps was purchased, along with Fermain Valley Hotel, by the Hand Picked Hotels group last year.

The group is run by local resident Julia Hands, wife of millionaire investor Guy Hands.

‘Since the acquisition, Hotel Ziggurat has remained closed due to its poor configuration, small size and lack of vehicular access,’ said Ziggurat Hotel regional general manager Simon Miller in the planning application.

‘This was subsequently aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic and Britain’s departure from the European Union, which resulted in a lack of visitors to the island and an inability to recruit staff from overseas.

‘Difficulties in recruiting staff from overseas have continued, and this is being intensified by the current housing crisis, whereby the supply of affordable housing is being far exceeded by demand.’

He said that providing good quality staff accommodation often helped to entice good staff from overseas.

‘Consequently, with a lack of quality staff accommodation available, the Fermain Valley and St Pierre Park hotels are both being negatively affected and, as there is no desire to reduce the quality of service, their capacity is at risk,’ Mr Miller said.

‘When considering the suitability of the premises across the estate, Hotel Ziggurat’s small size, pedestrianised location in Constitution Steps and poor configuration over multiple floors, make it the least desirable property for operating as a hotel and it sits outside the Hand Picked Hotel model.

‘However, its equidistance from the Fermain Valley and St Pierre Park Hotels makes it suitable for staff accommodation.’

Mr Miller said it would support tourism in Guernsey.

‘While it is acknowledged that additional housing is planned for construction across the island, which may alleviate some of the current pressures on housing, we also acknowledge that it will be several years before these are delivered and tangible benefits are seen,’ he said.

‘It is also doubtful that priority for any such housing will be hotel workers from outside Guernsey, some of whom will be seasonal.’

Under the application the hotel would provide 14 en-suite rooms. The application is to change the use for at least three years.

Mr Miller said the plan would not see the building requiring substantial works.

n The plans can be viewed at https://www.gov.gg/liveplanningapplications

Top Stories

More From The Guernsey Press

UK & International News