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We’re behind Towie star’s Grand plan
TRADERS have backed Mick Norcross’s plans to bring Leigh’s Grand hotel back to life.
And Southend Council planning officers say Mr Norcross, a star of TV show the Only Way is Essex, should be allowed to build a basement spa at the hotel, in the Broadway.
The final decision will be made by councillors on Wednesday.
In the meantime, Leigh traders are rallying behind Mr Norcross in his bid to transform the grade II listed building, which dates back to 1896. The pub has been closed since December 2008.
Mr Norcross, who runs the Sugar Hut club, in Brentwood, was disappointed last week when he secured a late-night bar licence at the venue until 1.15am on Fridays and Saturdays, instead of 2.30am, which he had hoped for.
The Towie star has now questioned whether his project is economically viable, but his supporters want him to stick with it.
Susan Jeffs, 64, of Victor Drive, Leigh, and owner of hair salon Vanilla, also in the Broadway, said: “He will bring more people into Leigh, which is so important to local traders.
“I think people need to give the guy a chance. He has already said it will not be a nightclub and he wants to regenerate this beautiful building.”
Richard Coxell, 58, who lives opposite the Grand, in Redcliff Drive, added: “He needs to be given maximum flexibility. The plans are fabulous.
“If he pulls out, the building will be knocked down and become a Tesco and the thought of that makes me feel sick.”
The basement spa will feature a jacuzzi, plunge pool, sauna and steam room, as well as a small gym.
Mr Norcross is also seeking permission for 16 parking spaces, as well as an extension at the back of the building.
The single-storey extension would house the spa, as well as a storeroom, cloakroom and washing-up area.
A report to the development control committee said: “The proposed development, which will complement the refurbishment of this attractive, locally listed building, is welcomed.”