A HIGH-profile restaurant at the top of a block of flats is no longer viable and should be converted into penthouses, it has been claimed.

A planning application has been submitted to convert The Edge restaurant in Alum Chine into two residential flats.

The applicant Carrington Trust Ltd said experts had carried out a full viability appraisal, which had concluded the fourth floor restaurant was no longer viable and there was no reasonable prospect of it continuing.

The Echo's review of the Edge from 2012

It can be difficult to obtain change of use permission for a tourism-related business, as discovered by Boscombe guest house owner Sandra Smart who was recently refused permission to convert her B&B back into a family home and retire from the business she had run for 16 years.

Viability reports are scrutinised by director of tourism Mark Smith, but according to the Carrington Trust's application, the restaurant's unviability has been accepted.

However, tourism bosses want one of the proposed flats to be a holiday let - a prospect the applicant argues is not viable.

The application states: "As detailed in the supporting commercial viability report, the proposed change of use of the fourth floor restaurant will not have a detrimental impact to the restaurant provision in the wider conurbation, especially considering its current unviability and the approved commercial developments elsewhere in the borough, eg 17 new restaurants in 'The Square ' development in Exeter Road.

"Due to the 1,400 hotel rooms which have been approved under a variety of recent developments and are in the pipeline for delivery, any potential holiday lets on site will not be able to compete with this supply of newly built tourism accommodation.

"As such, the conversion of the restaurant to potential holiday lets has been shown to be unviable and therefore the current proposal is for conversion to two residential flats."

So far there is just one objection to the application, from the owner of two holiday flats in the development. He said the restaurant gave the development "interest" and said: "Certainly there are some snags with mixed use but on balance the glamour wins. The holiday lets revel in having a prestigious restaurant nearby.

"To remove this block's "Edge" would be a retrograde step inside and out."