Leigh's Grand plans back to the drawing board

First published in Echo News

AMBITIOUS plans to restore Leigh’s Grand Hotel have been sent back to the drawing board.

Mick Norcross has revised his proposals for the iconic building, just four months after finally receiving planning permission.

The Only Way Is Essex star now wants to add an extra floor and bedroom to a planned extension to ensure the venture will make enough money to cover its costs.

But the latest delay has frustrated some supporters of the revamp, who said they had been waiting for work to start for too long.

Lindsay Belton, 34, of Leighton Avenue, said: “It does seem to be dragging on for a long time.

“I’m a fan of the plans, but I think they need to get going if they want to keep the neighbours’ support.”

Carole Mulroney, the chairman of Leigh Town Council, added: “The controversial issues which have arisen during the consideration of both planning and licensing have quite rightly been raised by the people of Leigh and we trust the applicant has taken note of local views.”

Mr Norcross divided opinion when he revealed his plans to restore the Grand, which has been closed since 2008, last year.

Neighbours complained it could trigger rowdy night-time behaviour and parking chaos, but traders in the Broadway argued it would revitalise the area.

The proposals stalled twice, firstly over Mr Norcross’s bid for a late alcohol licence, and then over his plans for an extension.

Planning permission for a two-storey expansion, including two extra bedrooms, was finally granted in August.

However, Mr Norcross now wants to add an extra storey to the expansion, containing an additional bedroom, to take the total number within the building to 20.

Southend Council’s development control committee will sit down on December 12 to decide whether the changes should go ahead, but the scheme has been recommended for approval by planners.

Mr Norcross was unavailable for comment.

However, a spokesman for Scoop Trading, which is handling the plans on Mr Norcross’s behalf, said: “In order to ensure the development has longevity, the business plan must be sustainable and profitable for the dream to become a reality.

“We respectfully request the council carefully consider the application and grant approval so the project can progress with an achievable, sound and sustainable business plan to ensure the Grand will be the best hotel in Leigh for many years to come.”

Comments (19)

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9:08am Wed 12 Dec 12

perini says...

Just waiting for the further revised plans to be submitted - the ones with a night club included! Or am I just being cynical? Time will tell!
Just waiting for the further revised plans to be submitted - the ones with a night club included! Or am I just being cynical? Time will tell! perini
  • Score: 0

10:00am Wed 12 Dec 12

Eric Whim says...

how many w*nking booths are in the new plans?
how many w*nking booths are in the new plans? Eric Whim
  • Score: 0

11:25am Wed 12 Dec 12

jaguarxxv says...

Exactly as I predicted when the application was granted, he'll probably get this also.
Exactly as I predicted when the application was granted, he'll probably get this also. jaguarxxv
  • Score: 0

11:28am Wed 12 Dec 12

jaguarxxv says...

jaguarxxv says...
4:25pm Wed 15 Aug 12

Watch this space, 3rd floor application to follow and will be approved.
jaguarxxv says... 4:25pm Wed 15 Aug 12 Watch this space, 3rd floor application to follow and will be approved. jaguarxxv
  • Score: 0

11:42am Wed 12 Dec 12

Brunning999 says...

Will it be like J&A bathrooms?

I hope not.
Will it be like J&A bathrooms? I hope not. Brunning999
  • Score: 0

11:59am Wed 12 Dec 12

RichardAC says...

it's before the Committee this afternoon with a recommendation from officers for approval. It looks absolutely fabulous - a mini Grand with all the same styling on the back. I saw surveyors doing their bit yesterday.
Let's get this thing moving. Good luck Mr Norcross.
it's before the Committee this afternoon with a recommendation from officers for approval. It looks absolutely fabulous - a mini Grand with all the same styling on the back. I saw surveyors doing their bit yesterday. Let's get this thing moving. Good luck Mr Norcross. RichardAC
  • Score: 0

12:09pm Wed 12 Dec 12

perini says...

RichardAC wrote:
it's before the Committee this afternoon with a recommendation from officers for approval. It looks absolutely fabulous - a mini Grand with all the same styling on the back. I saw surveyors doing their bit yesterday. Let's get this thing moving. Good luck Mr Norcross.
But will it get built according to the plans, or will the money run out when the basic infrastructure is there so there's no money left to make it blend in. Thereafter the cry will be 'it's better than the eyesore that was there.'
[quote][p][bold]RichardAC[/bold] wrote: it's before the Committee this afternoon with a recommendation from officers for approval. It looks absolutely fabulous - a mini Grand with all the same styling on the back. I saw surveyors doing their bit yesterday. Let's get this thing moving. Good luck Mr Norcross.[/p][/quote]But will it get built according to the plans, or will the money run out when the basic infrastructure is there so there's no money left to make it blend in. Thereafter the cry will be 'it's better than the eyesore that was there.' perini
  • Score: 0

12:42pm Wed 12 Dec 12

RichardAC says...

the plans are here

http://planning.sout
hend.gov.uk/PublicAc
cess/tdc/DcApplicati
on/application_detai
lview.aspx?keyval=MC
UU1CPA5Q000


go to associated docs and you can read the officers report and see the plans under proposed elevations.
The Council are stipulating a lot with regard to the type bricks used, the stone window surrounds and even the colour of the mortar. I think both Mr Norcross and the Council officers deserve great credit for coming up with an agreed design.
I'm going to pop along this afternoon and will post the outcome later.
the plans are here http://planning.sout hend.gov.uk/PublicAc cess/tdc/DcApplicati on/application_detai lview.aspx?keyval=MC UU1CPA5Q000 go to associated docs and you can read the officers report and see the plans under proposed elevations. The Council are stipulating a lot with regard to the type bricks used, the stone window surrounds and even the colour of the mortar. I think both Mr Norcross and the Council officers deserve great credit for coming up with an agreed design. I'm going to pop along this afternoon and will post the outcome later. RichardAC
  • Score: 0

1:03pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Broadwaywatch says...

Mr Norcross and his legal team know exactly what they are doing and know that they can push SBC this way and that because SBC are very unlikely too put up a fight because I believe that Mr Norcross could go to appeal and SBC will not wish/afford to put up the money to fight against it. This sadly is the way it seems to work these days. Councils can only take on the little people who can't afford too appeal.
Why I ask, did Mr Norcross not work out his costings when he submited his last alteration to plans which were given permission back in August. Whats changed? Its the games I believe that are played that annoys me. Work was said to start in October.
Such powerful people treat the rest of us as idiots. Its about time the rules/Law were changed and this sort of thing was not allowed to happen. Whats next; what is going to be the next change of plans. No Hotel? Now its in Mr Norcross hands he has no hurry and in fact can I believe if he so wishes let it go beyond repair and in the end have the Grand demolished and sell the site for a huge profit.
Mr Norcross and his legal team know exactly what they are doing and know that they can push SBC this way and that because SBC are very unlikely too put up a fight because I believe that Mr Norcross could go to appeal and SBC will not wish/afford to put up the money to fight against it. This sadly is the way it seems to work these days. Councils can only take on the little people who can't afford too appeal. Why I ask, did Mr Norcross not work out his costings when he submited his last alteration to plans which were given permission back in August. Whats changed? Its the games I believe that are played that annoys me. Work was said to start in October. Such powerful people treat the rest of us as idiots. Its about time the rules/Law were changed and this sort of thing was not allowed to happen. Whats next; what is going to be the next change of plans. No Hotel? Now its in Mr Norcross hands he has no hurry and in fact can I believe if he so wishes let it go beyond repair and in the end have the Grand demolished and sell the site for a huge profit. Broadwaywatch
  • Score: 0

1:12pm Wed 12 Dec 12

RichardAC says...

Time will tell. I think you've a rather sad cynical view of the world. Why were there surveyors there yesterday? You don't need a survey for a ball and chain. Why have they tested the ground for foundations. Why have they spent thousands on plans and applications if the plan was for demolition? Why publicly go on air on TOWIE and say this is what I'm going to do and then not do it? You'd look a right mug.
He'll do it.

I hope. Fingers crossed, touch wood etc etc.
Time will tell. I think you've a rather sad cynical view of the world. Why were there surveyors there yesterday? You don't need a survey for a ball and chain. Why have they tested the ground for foundations. Why have they spent thousands on plans and applications if the plan was for demolition? Why publicly go on air on TOWIE and say this is what I'm going to do and then not do it? You'd look a right mug. He'll do it. I hope. Fingers crossed, touch wood etc etc. RichardAC
  • Score: 0

1:12pm Wed 12 Dec 12

RichardAC says...

Time will tell. I think you've a rather sad cynical view of the world. Why were there surveyors there yesterday? You don't need a survey for a ball and chain. Why have they tested the ground for foundations. Why have they spent thousands on plans and applications if the plan was for demolition? Why publicly go on air on TOWIE and say this is what I'm going to do and then not do it? You'd look a right mug.
He'll do it.

I hope. Fingers crossed, touch wood etc etc.
Time will tell. I think you've a rather sad cynical view of the world. Why were there surveyors there yesterday? You don't need a survey for a ball and chain. Why have they tested the ground for foundations. Why have they spent thousands on plans and applications if the plan was for demolition? Why publicly go on air on TOWIE and say this is what I'm going to do and then not do it? You'd look a right mug. He'll do it. I hope. Fingers crossed, touch wood etc etc. RichardAC
  • Score: 0

1:14pm Wed 12 Dec 12

RichardAC says...

BTW he's not the freeholder and they would need to agree to demolition. TBH I doubt if the site is worth much certainly not as much as the quoted cost of the Lease. Interestingly the Freeholders are now listed on the application which they previously weren't.
BTW he's not the freeholder and they would need to agree to demolition. TBH I doubt if the site is worth much certainly not as much as the quoted cost of the Lease. Interestingly the Freeholders are now listed on the application which they previously weren't. RichardAC
  • Score: 0

1:20pm Wed 12 Dec 12

perini says...

RichardAC - I'm not against the plans as submitted on-line. I think it looks great but I am that bit cynical about it being built to those plans. As things stand the ROI would take some time and I don't think Norcross is willing to wait that long. As previously said - 'time will tell.'
RichardAC - I'm not against the plans as submitted on-line. I think it looks great but I am that bit cynical about it being built to those plans. As things stand the ROI would take some time and I don't think Norcross is willing to wait that long. As previously said - 'time will tell.' perini
  • Score: 0

1:31pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Broadwaywatch says...

I am quite willing to apologise if he does it but why is it that these people always gnaw away for just that little bit more. As you say...time will tell. I hope that the Grand becomes a success as a Hotel but that is no reason why I should not express my doubts in the same way you express your confidence.
I am sorry ....I don't watch TOWIE so a would'nt know that he used the programme to advertise his plans. Enjoy your meeting. You make a good envoy for Mr Norcross
I am quite willing to apologise if he does it but why is it that these people always gnaw away for just that little bit more. As you say...time will tell. I hope that the Grand becomes a success as a Hotel but that is no reason why I should not express my doubts in the same way you express your confidence. I am sorry ....I don't watch TOWIE so a would'nt know that he used the programme to advertise his plans. Enjoy your meeting. You make a good envoy for Mr Norcross Broadwaywatch
  • Score: 0

2:25pm Wed 12 Dec 12

j-w says...

New plans approved.
New plans approved. j-w
  • Score: 0

2:45pm Wed 12 Dec 12

RichardAC says...

As already said. Plans approved unanimously. Comment from the chair that new design is an improvement on the one already approved. Minor alterations in future delegated to officers. A plea from a female councillor for the applicant to "get on with it".
And so say all of us :)
Fantastic.
As already said. Plans approved unanimously. Comment from the chair that new design is an improvement on the one already approved. Minor alterations in future delegated to officers. A plea from a female councillor for the applicant to "get on with it". And so say all of us :) Fantastic. RichardAC
  • Score: 0

2:48pm Wed 12 Dec 12

RichardAC says...

BTW I only watched TOWIE as I knew the Grand was going to be shown. It's harmless fun that does not take itself too seriously.
BTW I only watched TOWIE as I knew the Grand was going to be shown. It's harmless fun that does not take itself too seriously. RichardAC
  • Score: 0

3:00pm Wed 12 Dec 12

RichardAC says...

perini wrote:
RichardAC - I'm not against the plans as submitted on-line. I think it looks great but I am that bit cynical about it being built to those plans. As things stand the ROI would take some time and I don't think Norcross is willing to wait that long. As previously said - 'time will tell.'
I think it's vbeen stated the build time is 18 months. The return on the investment will be slow although I'm not an expert on this. However with 20 bedrooms it is now more attractive to the wedding market which is what the hotel is going for. A minimum of 52 a year. MC has money. He bought the freehold of the Sugarhut for about a million a few months ago. I assume he has the finance behind him and suspect though who can be sure that he's got the freeholder on board. He's probly told then why should he spend 4.5 million buying the lease and then the same doing it up and it's still not his building. Having met him and one of his staff briefly i would say neither are fools and both know their business and they have a track record of getting the punters in. Expect the Grand to be mega busy.
[quote][p][bold]perini[/bold] wrote: RichardAC - I'm not against the plans as submitted on-line. I think it looks great but I am that bit cynical about it being built to those plans. As things stand the ROI would take some time and I don't think Norcross is willing to wait that long. As previously said - 'time will tell.'[/p][/quote]I think it's vbeen stated the build time is 18 months. The return on the investment will be slow although I'm not an expert on this. However with 20 bedrooms it is now more attractive to the wedding market which is what the hotel is going for. A minimum of 52 a year. MC has money. He bought the freehold of the Sugarhut for about a million a few months ago. I assume he has the finance behind him and suspect though who can be sure that he's got the freeholder on board. He's probly told then why should he spend 4.5 million buying the lease and then the same doing it up and it's still not his building. Having met him and one of his staff briefly i would say neither are fools and both know their business and they have a track record of getting the punters in. Expect the Grand to be mega busy. RichardAC
  • Score: 0

6:03pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Little John says...

I have noticed Mr Norcross has a very bad infestation of Japanese Knotweed growing in the front car park. This plant can devalue property as it can wreck the foundations of any buildings it grows near. Mortgage lenders often will not lend money on residential properties with J/K growing on it.
Whatever plans he has for The Grand, unless the plant is dealt with, which can take around five years to kill off completely, may just end up crumbling into rubble. Doesn't look like any work to eradicate it has happened yet.
I have noticed Mr Norcross has a very bad infestation of Japanese Knotweed growing in the front car park. This plant can devalue property as it can wreck the foundations of any buildings it grows near. Mortgage lenders often will not lend money on residential properties with J/K growing on it. Whatever plans he has for The Grand, unless the plant is dealt with, which can take around five years to kill off completely, may just end up crumbling into rubble. Doesn't look like any work to eradicate it has happened yet. Little John
  • Score: 0

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