A LANDMARK seafront hotel has asked for more time to start a major redevelopment which will double its size.

The Old Ship Hotel, in Kings Road, Brighton, was granted planning permission to knock down its garage in Black Lion Street in April 2010.

Hotel owner, Barcelo, formerly known as Paramount Hotels, wants to replace the garage with a seven-storey extension containing 42 bedrooms, two conference rooms and a new bar.

The extension would more than double the Old Ship Hotel’s floor space from 1,378sqm to 2,972sqm and increase the number of bedrooms by almost a third.

But a condition of the planning permission was that work must start by April 2013.

Now Matt Claxton, senior planner at commercial property agent Knight Frank, has written to Brighton and Hove City Council on behalf of the hotel to ask for more time.

In 1987 the hotel was granted permission for a larger extension on the site of the garage, but the plans expired before new owner Paramount took over.

A second planning application was granted for 30 bedrooms in 2002, but again work never started.

In his letter to the council, Mr Claxton wrote: “There is limited time in which to discharge the planning conditions.

“As our client seeks to implement the approved scheme, to upgrade and improve the facilities and accommodation at the Old Ship Hotel, a new planning permission and Conservation Area Consent, subject to a new time limit is required, allowing the approved development to come forward in the near future that will bring forward the associated employment, tourism and regeneration benefits.”

Paul Wright, general manager at the hotel, said: “No date has been set to start the work.”

The hotel is in a conservation area but only the 18th century Assembly Room and ballroom part of the building at the back of the hotel is Grade II* listed.

The development would not affect the listed section, which was the setting of the Prince Regent’s Ball in 1819 and a banquet to celebrate the opening of the Brighton to London railway line in 1841.