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Brooke House could be the next Basildon hotel
A TROUBLED Basildon tower block could be turned into a hotel as part of large-scale changes to the listed-building.
The Deputy leader of Basildon Council and leader of landlord services Phil Turner say the flats at Brooke House could be turned into hotel rooms with the lower floors being turned into a large, glass-windowed atrium, with concierges and shops for those staying there.
Mr Turner says he has discussed with his management team moving the entrance to Brooke House alongside the parade of shops in the Town Square. He wants to create a top hotel feel when people walk into the grade-II listed building and said he would not be raising the issue if he didn’t think it was possible, while knocking the building down would be considered if possible.
He also says he would want to close off the open stairwell and revamp the garage, making it more secure in a fresh approach. He met with council officers on Tuesday evening to discuss the future of the tower block, and says the discussions went well and he would be have further meetings with planners and consultants in the near future.
He said: “We are contemplating a complete overhaul of Brooke House but within the confines of cost and facilities available to us. We want people to look at Brooke House and say, ‘I want to stay there.’ Whether those are luxury flats or a hotel, I am not ruling anything out at this stage. I will say that Brooke House has a bright future. Imagine a penthouse apartment for executives at the top. It is a wonderful prospect.”
He said the plans would fit in with the £1billion Basildon regeneration project, which began with work on 144 new homes at Gloucester Park. As part of the masterplan a hotel is scheduled to be built between 2013 and 2022, behind the cinema in the town centre.
He said before any decisions were made a consultation with residents would take place.
Mr Turner said: “There are not many hotels on stilts like Brooke House, so it could be a revolution. It is a special building and it could be great once again. It would work alongside other hotels in the area and could look a really plush redeveloped area. This could be a paradigm shift.”
Despite these elaborate plans, Brooke House resident Tim Morner, 25, said he couldn’t see them working.
“You could do everything to this place and it still wouldn’t be fixed. You can knock it down and change it but everyone knows the reputation it has and that isn’t so easy to lose. I can’t see it working.”
Mr Turner said he would push forward with plans in 2013.
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