Demolition date for seaside hotel

Joseph Bulmer

Contractors set to wipe the Victorian Collingwood building off the map as the first step in a �4 million redevelopment by JD Wetherspoon.

DEMOLITION of Ilfracombe’s derelict Collingwood Hotel is set to start next week as pub giant JD Wetherspoon takes the first major step towards a �4 million development.

The main demolition work is scheduled to begin on Monday and it is expected to take around six weeks to clear the site.

The company has planning permission for a pub plus 54 bedroom hotel and a spokesman said it was hoped building work might start around June, with development expected to take nine months.

JD Wetherspoon acquired the Victorian building in 2007 and originally planned to develop it, but following a fire later that year a survey commissioned by the company found extensive damage and structural problems that it said would cost too much to put right.

A new planning application was submitted and approved. It proposed the new hotel, pub and restaurant would be of similar height to the existing Collingwood, of high quality and enhancing the character of the seafront.

The company has said in the past that its plans would create around 50 jobs for the town.