A NEW hotel could be built just off Brighton seafront by the company that owns the Metropole.

If plans are given the go-ahead, a nine-storey hotel with 221 bedrooms would be built behind the seafront landmark.

Exhibition and conference halls would be demolished to make way for the Cannon Place Hotel.

The Argus: Designs for the new Cannon Place HotelDesigns for the new Cannon Place Hotel

The owners plan to retain the facade of the Grade II listed building at 31-32 Cannon Place, by the corner of St Margaret’s Place.

But 19 neighbours have written to the council to object to the scheme which also faces opposition from the Regency Square Area Society and the Brighton Society.

Officials have given their backing to the project although councillors will make a final decision at a meeting next week.

Topland, which bought the Metropole 10 years ago, is behind the plan.

READ MORE: Brighton Metropole sold for nearly £40 million

The company say: “The hotel will both positively contribute towards Brighton’s tourist accommodation capacity, complementing the wider site’s role as a focus for key visitor accommodation, whilst also reintroducing a new vibrant use into an underused listed building, protecting its key heritage asset.

“The proposals will remove the blank and dominating elevations along both Cannon Place and St Margaret’s Place, associated with the rear of the Metropole, transforming the local street scene with new active frontages.”

If granted permission, Topland is expected to lease the new building to the Irish hotel group Dalata for 35 years while Hilton Hotels will continue to run the Metropole.

The Argus: How Cannon Place currently looksHow Cannon Place currently looks

A report to the council’ said that the principle of a hotel was “acceptable to justify the loss of conference facilities”.

It also said that the height and scale of the building was considered appropriate for the Regency Square Conservation Area.

But the Regency Square Area Society is concerned about repairs to older facades in Cannon Place and St Margaret’s Place and how a new roof would affect the conservation area.

READ MORE: Why Brighton is a city of Regency gems

The society said: “Changes have been made to the proposals to raise the height all round, add a pseudo new storey to the south east tower and offer the planning department a choice of lighter grey colour upper floors to ‘soften’ the effect.

“All the new proposals fly in the face of public opinion and the council’s own rebuttal of the developer’s paid consultee assessments.”

The Brighton Society said that the design was not sympathetic with the area. It said: “It is an overbearing, poorly conceived and poorly designed proposal, out of context with its conservation area surroundings in terms of scale, form, detailing and materials.

“It attempts to cram too much accommodation on to its sensitive site.”

The Argus: A meeting will be held next week to decide if the scheme should go-aheadA meeting will be held next week to decide if the scheme should go-ahead

One neighbour, whose details were redacted by the council, was worried about pedestrian safety in the busy road.

The neighbour said: “Dropped kerbs are helpful to people with wheeled luggage, wheelchairs, pushchairs, etc, but they do nothing to help pedestrians safely across the road itself.

“Cannon Place near the new hotel entrance is a three-lane road with motor traffic, including large delivery vehicles, entering from multiple junctions and exits. It is, at times, a fast and busy road.”

The Argus: The development would transform Cannon PlaceThe development would transform Cannon Place

Another neighbour said that the development was next to two major hotels, the Grand and the Metropole, and there was a greater need for housing.

The neighbour said: “One of the biggest problems facing students and people living in Brighton at the moment is the shortage of housing.

“It is more important to focus on providing more housing and fewer hotels since we already have plenty in Brighton.”