After more than six years in the pipeline, the transformation of The Grand Hotel in Leigh on Sea in Essex has finally been given the green light.
The project to converted the 100-year-old building was first proposed back in 2011, by the star of The Only Way is Essex and local businessman Mick Norcross, who has been campaigning for approval ever since.
Now with both public and council backing, he has vowed the begin building work ‘immediately’ with a view to have the hotel finished and open within 18 months.
The property, which dates back to the end of the Victorian period, fell into a state of disrepair when it shut in 2008 before Norcross bought the lease on the site in 2011.
Work then originally began in April 2014, but was halted due to the discovery of knotweed, as Norcross at the time said he remained ‘totally committed’ to the project.
He then had to opt for an amended application, dropping plans for a penthouse suite, which was the reason why the application was rejected in May this year.
When the hotel eventually reopens, it will be named the Grand Boutique Hotel, and consist of 20 bedrooms, a wine bar and health club at basement level, a restaurant and 18 flats above.
He said: “I am delighted to have been given approval. The finance is in place and we can now start work to give the people of Leigh a building they can be proud of.”