Developers said houses and flats on derelict Tantons Hotel site will be available from this year for long term lets only.

A ‘blot’ on the entrance to Bideford will be transformed into flats and houses now planning permission has been granted.

Tantons Hotel in Bideford is set to be re-renovated into flats and houses after standing derelict since a fire in May 2011.

Developer Adam Walker told the Gazette once finished, the 16 properties will only be available as long-term lets.

He said: “That’s what the people of Bideford have told me they want - not holiday lets.

“At the moment it is just an eyesore.

“The buildings now are in the most terrible conditon and the town houses in particular have subsided in the front wall.

“There is well over £1million worth of building work going into this.

“It’s a big investment and we’ll be using local building companies which will create jobs.”

The main hotel building will become eight flats and the building next to the police station will returned to three town houses.

The building adjoining the town houses will be demolished and turned into five contemporary-style flats.

Mr Walker said he hoped work would start on the site in four-to-six weeks, with the town houses available this year, and the rest of the work completed next year.

He added: “This will transform the entrance to Bideford.”