DEVELOPERS say a seafront hotel set for approval would be a “shot in the arm”
for Southend, clearing a derelict eyesore and creating 65 jobs.
Esplanade House, which has blighted Southend seafront for more than five
years, will be torn down, if councillors give plans for a 64-bed Premier Inn on
the neighbouring former gasworks site the green light as expected on
John Bates, head of acquisitions for Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants,
which owns Premier Inn, said: “Southend has been on our target list for a while
and I am pleased to hear council planners have backed our proposals for the
town. Our proposed hotel will be a shot in the arm for Southend.
“It will bring new life to a derelict site, create 65 new jobs with a FTSE
100 company and will help to bring more leisure and business visitors to the
“The new hotel is a vote of confidence in Southend and I hope local
councillors back our proposed investment and help us to become a key part of the
local business community.”
The Robert Leonard Group, which owns the site, has a contractual agreement
with Premier Inn to demolish the ghost block Esplanade House if the hotel is
The new Premier Inn, the second on the seafront after one at Halfway House,
would be completed by the end of next year.
Southend Council’s development control committee will also decide whether
to give the developer three more years to start work on its long-dormant plans
for a separate hotel, restaurant, shops, 216 flats and 50 affordable homes on
the Esplanade House site.
Outline approval for a 64-bed budget hotel, four blocks of flats and
affordable homes on the Esplanade site ran out last month and would need to be
extended before any development – including the Premier Inn – takes place.
If the deadline is extended, a housebuilder is waiting in the wings to
build the affordable homes next year.