Controversial proposals to demolish Rickmansworth’s only remaining hotel have been recommended for refusal by council officers.

Plans to turn Long Island Exchange, in Victoria Close, into 31 residential units are due to be heard at Three Rivers’ planning meeting tonight.

District council officers have recommended that politicians throw out the plans, which seek to build 27 flats and four houses.

In documents submitted to the council, officers suggested that proposals be refused as the hotel is listed as a locally important building and that "by reason of its historical and architectural merit makes a significant contribution to the local scene".

The report added: "The proposal would involve the loss of a locally important building which would adversely affect the character and appearance of the local scene."

The application is the third one to be submitted by property developer, Keay Homes, to Three Rivers to turn the hotel, which dates back to at least 1888, into homes.

A proposal was rejected in December 2012 to demolish the hotel and build 87 flats and five town houses and a further application was thrown out in March 2013 to build 65 residential units.

Councillors are due to discuss the application at tonight’s meeting, which starts at 7.30pm, in Three Rivers House, in Northway.