Plans for a 116-bedroom hotel on the seafront have been given the green light.

The Premier Inn will be built on the esplanade in Bognor on the site of the old fire station and part of the Regis Centre car park.

Plans were narrowly approved by Arun District Council on Thursday when six councillors voted in favour of the development and five voted against it.

The planning committee heard evidence from the hotel owners Whitbread PLC and affected parties including residents from the neighbouring Barclay Court.

Whitbread said its planned £13 million investment will create 30 jobs on opening.

Louise Woodruff, property acquisitions manager for Whitbread, said: “We’re fortunate at Premier Inn to have a customer base made up equally of business and leisure customers. 

"The wide appeal of Premier Inn helps to drive the high year-round occupancy we experience across our network and informs the investment case for new locations like Bognor Regis seafront. 

"The planning consent gives us the go-ahead to bring forward our multi-million pound investment in Bognor town centre, create new jobs and help to support the local economy through the year-round spending of our guests.  It is fantastic news for us and the town.”

An economic impact assessment submitted as part of Whitbread’s planning application calculated that guests of the hotel will spend around £2.8 million per year in Bognor’s economy.

The hotel was designed to reference the historic Regency style of buildings in the town, reflecting the rich history of Bognor in a contemporary and sustainable way.

The building will face the seafront with a café terrace along the Esplanade.

Customers will access the hotel by Clarence Road. 

The hotel will be powered by energy generated from renewable sources with air-source heat pumps, heat recovery units and solar panels on site.

Whitbread currently runs 849 Premier Inn hotels in the UK.

The business believes there is potential for 125,000 UK Premier Inn rooms in time and is keen to grow its presence in coastal locations like Bognor as it expands.