NEW plans for a multi-million pound renovation of one of Leigh’s most well-known buildings in Broadway are gaining support online.

Amelia Slocombe, from Chalkwell, started an online petition, Support Mick Norcross Re-Development of the Grand Hotel, after property developer and former reality TV star Mick Norcross submitted a revised planning application to Southend Council.

Mr Norcross is seeking to transform the deteriorating old hotel into a basement wine bar and health club, with two ground floor restaurants.

She said: “While the plans may not be to everyone’s taste, the potential is truly remarkable, and signals the continuance of great things for our beautiful town.

“Please ask yourselves, if you had the choice between a slowly decaying building which may ultimately have to be demolished, or the redevelopment of an iconic building, which would you choose?”

Plans to renovate the landmark building have been ongoing for five years.

In 2012 Mr Norcross submitted a proposal to convert the building into a boutique hotel and spa, however his plan was rejected by council due to a bid for a late alcohol licence.

In July this year, the former Towie star submitted an application to the council again proposing a development of 19 flats and a penthouse apartment to the back of the building.

However, Southend council threw out the proposal saying the size and appearance of the penthouse flat with its mansard-style roof was “not considered to be acceptable in terms of visual impact”.

Determined, Mr Norcross has now submitted a revised planning application.

He told The Echo: “I want to thank residents’ support and it’s great to get as much support as possible.

“I took the officers’ recommendations for the planning proposal and I think it’s looking good now. I’ll hear back from the council in November, so fingers crossed.

“In the revised plans, I propose to build 18 self-contained flats taking away the penthouse flat as recommended by planning officers. There will be a basement wine bar and health club, and ground floor restaurants and terrace, and demolish the existing mansard roof and form a new replacement mansard roof.”

Lib Dem councillor Peter Wexham of the Leigh ward, said if the application was approved it would be a pity to see Leigh lose another one of its hotels.

“It is a shame to see the hotel go if council approved of Mr Norcross’ plans.

“I do agree the Grand Hotel does really need a renovation because the building is so old.

“It would be nice if the Grand Hotel stays as a hotel because it’s such an important landmark for Leigh. I understand Mr Norcross has plans to modernise the interiors of the building. I do hope the application goes through because it would mean the building itself can be maintained.”

The Grade II-listed building was built in 1896 and has been empty since it closed in December 2008.