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Towie bar boss gives up late licence bid for hotel
THE revival of Leigh’s Grand Hotel has moved a step closer after reality TV star Mick Norcross gave up his fight for later bar hours.
The Echo can reveal the Only Way Is Essex star has notified council officials of his plans to withdraw his appeal against a decision to only allow the hotel to stay open until 1.15am.
The appeal was due to take place at Basildon Magistrates’ Court in July.
Mr Norcross, owner of the Sugarhut nightclub, in Brentwood, has been granted permission to transform the derelict building in Leigh Broadway, however, the project hung in the balance due to the disagreement over its late licence.
Members of Southend council’s licensing committee approved a licence in March, allowing the bar to open from 8am until 12.30am, Sunday to Thursday, and from 8am until 1.15am on Fridays and Saturdays.
However, Mr Norcross originally applied for a late night bar to run until 2.30am on Fridays and Saturdays.
John Williams, Southend Council’s head of legal and democratic services confirmed Mr Norcross was in the process of withdrawing his appeal against the conditions imposed by the committee.
He added: “In the event Mr Norcross proceeds with the development, local residents will have the full protection afforded by those licence conditions.”
The news reignites hope among residents and traders the historic building will be restored to its former glory.
Susan Jeffs, 64, of Victor Drive, Leigh, and owner of Vanilla Hairdresser in the Broadway, said: “I am thrilled that the building will be restored. It is such a fantastic thing to happen to Leigh and I could not be more excited about the prospect of it opening.
“After the licensing decision, I was worried he would pull out.
“Leigh desperately needs a hotel and I feel more encouraged after hearing the news.”
Georgina Phillips, who represented a group of residents opposed to the late night hours, said: “The residents will be relieved.
“It was always thought Mr Norcross had the necessary hours given to him to set up a luxury hotel business and spa and we sincerely hope he intends to continue with this.
“If the hotel were to materialise, I am sure it would attract locals and visitors alike to the area.”
The Echo reported yesterday plans were submitted to the council to add a three-storey extension, providing extra bedrooms and an expanded kitchen for the hotel.
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