Four star seafront hotel for Ilfracombe?

Joseph Bulmer

Town council agrees to support concept “in principle”

THE possibility of a new four star hotel complex on Ilfracombe seafront is being supported in principle by the town council.

With up to 100 bedrooms, health club, swimming pool and underground parking for 470 vehicles, the conceptual development is proposed for the old Goldencoast arcade site in Wilder Road.

The Birmingham based developers approached the town council and North Devon Council in 2010 to see whether the idea would have support before going ahead with more detailed investigation and drawing up designs.

The proposals would involve extensive landscaping, creating underground parking below the hotel, Runnymede Gardens and in front of the Landmark Theatre, much of it for public use.

On Monday town councillors voted 12 to two, with two abstentions, to re-affirm support for the scheme in principle, following election of a new council last month.

Not all were in favour: Councillor Frank Pearson said he thought the scheme would become “a white elephant” while Cllr Margaret Blundell said the size of the development would have a “serious impact” and asked whether it would be better suited to the outskirts of town.

But Cllr Geoff Fowler said: “It’s the private sector that is going to move this town forward and it has the wherewithal to do things.”

The Mayor, Cllr Rod Donovan, added: “This is purely a proposition in principle, for support for the development if it comes up with the right design.”

It is suggested the scheme would cover some of the current gardens area, but according to developers larger public open space would be created.

It also includes the possibility of incorporating the museum in a new structure attached to the hotel, but it is only an idea at this stage.