DEVELOPERS behind plans to create a £20million four-star hotel by using Torquay's Pavilion and marina car park sites have confirmed they are preparing to take the next step.
The Nicolas James Group has been in negotiations for the past four years with Torbay Council over proposals to redevelop the car park and refurbish the Pavilion as part of the 60-bedroom luxury hotel project.
It now hopes to submit an application to planners for the scheme, which does not include any building on Cary Green, by Christmas.
The plan includes improvements to the harbour area fronting the car park.
A jointly commissioned structural survey of the historic building has been carried out and has confirmed it needs between £2million and £3million repairs.
Nicolas Roach, chairman of the Nicolas James Group which is currently completing the Salcombe Harbour Hotel project which opens next month, said: "We are going to prepare a planning application. This is an important step forward and removes the uncertainty over the future of the Pavilion, though it needs an awful lot more money spent on it to create a hotel, more than the £2million or £3million.
"We now have more certainty as to the costs, but it is up to local people to decide on the planning application. We believe it could create a significant hotel at that location which will really regenerate that whole area. To have that beautiful building boarded up and unused is not great for that area of Torquay. We have to make sure we give it a lasting, economic life. We are still very excited about the project."
He said initial outline plans have been seen by councillors and the Design Review Panel, but detailed designs will be produced for the application. He said the development would be around the same height as Vaughan Parade buildings at that end and rise to four or five storeys at the further end of the hotel.
Steve Parrock, chief executive of Torbay Development Agency, said: "The results of the structural survey and estimate of repairs jointly commissioned by the Torbay Development Agency and the Nicolas James Group several months ago has enabled both parties to firm up the business case for the development. The survey confirms the full extent of repairs required together with indicative costs. The good news is that there are solutions which aren't as intrusive or severe as we had first feared although the cost is still substantial. The aim was to reduce this element of development risk prior to proceeding to full planning and we have been able to do that."
The council last year agreed in principle to grant a new lease on the Pavilion and parts of Cary Green for the project.