Developer James Calligan is seeking planning permission to turn Pearson Park Hotel into three houses of multiple occupation, comprising 32 bedrooms for students.
But the scheme, which has been submitted alongside two separate developments to turn houses in the park into flats, is facing stiff opposition from residents, with some claiming it will spoil “the integrity of lovely houses in a beautiful park”.
The Avenues and Pearson Park Residents’ Association has also formally objected to the plans, writing: “What is acceptable in a hotel bedroom for transient guests is surely hardly more than slum provision when offered as long-term living conditions.”
The developer bought the hotel in November 2012 but is being forced to stop it trading after “serious consideration with his accountant”, his agent said.
The park was established on land donated to the city by Victorian benefactor Zachariah Pearson, who planted the first tree, a Wellingtonia, at its opening on August 27, 1860.