Admiralty Arch 'must fly flags'

Admiralty Arch, London, bedecked with flags for the Jubilee celebrations. Credit: Martin Keene/PA Wire

Historic London landmark Admiralty Arch will still be required to fly flags in its new guise as a hotel.

The ceremonial gateway between The Mall and Trafalgar Square, which was built as a memorial to Queen Victoria, is to be leased for 99 years to development company Prime Investors Capital

Developers want to transform the historic building into a five-star 100-bedroom hotel Credit: Martin Keene/PA Wire

The developers want to transform the building into a five-star 100-bedroom hotel complete with royal and presidential suites, a ballroom, spa and fine dining restaurant.

Government Cabinet Office spokesman Lord Wallace of Saltaire has told former head of the Royal Navy Lord West of Spithead that ministers would still be able to get flags flown from the building.

Lord Wallace said: "The long lease, when granted, provides for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to erect and fly such flags as any of the Her Majesty's secretaries of state see fit ... from time to time provided that the size of the flags ... does not exceed agreed parameters"

Lord West, a Labour peer and former minister, had questioned whether the Government would take steps to make sure Admiralty Arch continues "to fly its full set of White Ensigns on state occasions following its conversion to a hotel".