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Grand Hotel revival looks set to get the go-ahead
THE revival of Leigh ’s Grand Hotel could soon be a reality after council officers gave the nod to the plans.
Mick Norcross’s proposal to transform the empty landmark into a boutique hotel and spa looks set to clear the final hurdle after suffering several setbacks since it was drawn up last year.
Scaled-down plans to add a two-storey extension to the back of the hotel in The Broadway, containing two additional bedrooms and extended kitchen facilities, have been recommended for approval.
The Echo reported in July planning officers had recommended plans for a three-storey extension with five bedrooms should be thrown out by Southend Council’s development control committee.
The final decision on the proposal was delayed and the star of TV’s the Only Way Is Essex, from Bulphan, Thurrock , amended the application.
Mr Norcross said: “I’m happy the plans have now been recommended for approval.
“If the council gives us approval, we would look to start work as soon as possible.
“It would be a case of working onwards and upwards.”
In a report to the committee, which will be discussed next Wednesday, case officer Louise Cook, said: “The additional bed spaces and enlarged kitchen facilities will enhance the use of the building and increase the potential number of visitors it is able to accommodate.
“This will have a positive impact in terms of bringing additional trade into the borough, in particular the commercial area of Leigh, thus enhancing the vitality and viability of the area.
The report said the extension and development of the building would enhance the character and appearance of the surrounding area.
Mr Norcross, who owns the Sugar Hut nightclub, in Brentwood, initially appealed against a decision by councillors to refuse to allow the hotel’s bar to stay open until 2.30am on Fridays and Saturdays.
However, he withdrew his objection, which would have resulted in a court hearing, taking his dream of transforming the listed building a step closer.
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