NEW plans are in the pipeline to restore a historic Lyme Regis hotel which has been empty for more than 30 years.

The Three Cups Hotel on Broad Street is a Grade II listed building owned by Palmers Brewery which closed in May 1990.

Permission was granted to redevelop the historic seaside hotel in 2015, with plans to demolish the significantly historic rear of the building and replace it with retail units, a restaurant, as well as visitor and private accommodation.

Due to an ‘increase in the cost of building materials,’ the works were not carried out and it has since fallen into a derelict state.

Dorset Echo: The Three Cups, Lyme RegisThe Three Cups, Lyme Regis (Image: Hollie Carr)

However, the brewery has now confirmed it is working on plans to restore the former hotel - which was famously used in the making of the 1981 film The French Lieutenant’s Woman, starring Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep.

Nigel Jones, Development Consultant for Palmers Brewery, said: “We had planning permission for the previous scheme, but because the cost of building materials has gone up so dramatically it’s not so cost effective anymore.

“We are now designing a smaller and revised scheme that is more cost effective and we are absolutely committed to getting a scheme that works, and once we have done this and submitted planning applications (and get approval), we will start the works as soon as possible.

Mr Jones explained that the brewery is ‘mindful that at all times they have to keep it in repair,’ with recent works being undertaken to the roof at the back of the building as well as some pointing to the front.

The details of the new plans have not been revealed by Palmers.

Dorset Echo: The Three Cups, Lyme RegisThe Three Cups, Lyme Regis (Image: Hollie Carr)

Palmers revealed a different scaled-back plans for the hotel in 2020 with work planned to start in 2021.

They initially decided that a 'more practical solution' to the redevelopment of the site was to reduce the scale of the project whilst still maintaining the essential parts of the original scheme, namely the retention and refurbishment of the main block fronting Broad Street, new apartments at the rear together with a signature restaurant and a number of letting rooms the latter of which are in a 'beach hut' style.

Other notable names that are understood to have stayed at the landmark hotel include: J. R. R. Tolkien, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Hilaire Belloc, and G.K. Chesterton.