BUILDING work has started on a new nine-storey hotel off the seafront.

Demolition of a former conference and exhibition space at the back of the Metropole Hotel in Cannon Place in Brighton has begun to clear the area to replace the building with the new hotel.

Pictures from the building site showed an excavator tearing into a wall, with the area fenced off.

The hotel will feature 221 bedrooms once complete, with staycations looking likely to boom in the aftermath of the pandemic.

The Argus: A before and after view showing what the new hotel will look likeA before and after view showing what the new hotel will look like

Plans were approved by Brighton and Hove City Councillors last year after agreeing that the new structure would improve the look of the area.

A condition of the planning permission requires the owner of the Metropole site, Topland, to spend £50,000 on public art.

Councillor Leo Littman, who chairs the council’s planning committee, said in a meeting last year: “This area is a bit of an embarrassment. In this case, what is being proposed is a significant enhancement and I support it.”

The exhibition space was last used in 2018, with the city’s tourism team reassuring councillors that the loss of the space would not affect Brighton’s ability to host large conferences.

Conservative councillor Carol Theobald echoed his view and said: “It looks very nice - and the glass front is so much nicer than the scruffy area.”