Millionaire property developer Malcolm King wants to demolish Mont de la Rocque Hotel, its car park and a neighbouring house and build 33 flats with a pool and gym.
But an application made by his company, Mont de la Rocque Holdings Ltd, was turned down by planning officers in 2004.
They said that the scheme amounted to overdevelopment and would have an unacceptable impact on the character of the area.
One of the reasons given for refusal was the fact that two Monterey pine trees, which will be felled if the proposal goes ahead, are protected under preservation orders made in April 2003.
Mr King’s company complained about Planning’s decision to turn down the development.
At a public hearing before a Board of Administrative Appeal yesterday, his lawyer, Advocate Kevin Manning, said: ‘The placing of these preservation orders was emotive and an attempt to scupper this whole development.
The trees have been given too much importance.’ Cries of ‘rubbish’ came from the audience.
More than 50 local residents turned out to show their opposition to the plans.
An announcement on the board’s decision will be made in the coming weeks.