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Grand revamp set to get the go ahead
7:00am Thursday 5th September 2013 in Southend
FORMER The Only Way Is Essex star Mick Norcross has told the Echo how he has finally has the lease to the Grand Hotel in his hands.
The long-running saga, involving the landmark building in Leigh, has at last been resolved with Mr Norcross saying building work could now start “within weeks”.
The businessman spoke to the Echo while he was out of the country on holiday. He is due back later this week.
He said: ”Negotiations over the lease are all done! The lease has been assigned to me and nobody else. It was confirmed on Monday.
“Its good news, all the standing points on the lease have been agreed and we can now move forward.
“As soon as I’m back from holiday we’ll get the builders together and they will be on site within weeks.”
Numerous times Mr Norcross, who quit the popular reality show TOWIE and stopped filming at his bar Sugar Hut in Brentwood in March, has been forced to pledge his full commitment to developing the hotel into a boutique hotel with spa, restaurant and piano bar.
Residents, businesses and councillors have all doubted whether the £4.5million project would go ahead.
He has been trying to secure the lease from lease holder, the Spirit Group pub company for months, and had issues after subsidence was discovered on site.
He previously faced problems getting planning permission before a two-storey extension was finally agreed in August 2012.
Mr Norcross, 50, has said the work once started will take 18 months giving the Grade II-listed building 20 bedrooms and a bridal suite.
It will be renamed the Grand Boutique Hotel.
The Leigh community has welcomed the news.
Town Council chairman Caroline Parker said: “I’m over the moon as so many people were losing faith in him.
“I had great faith and confidence in him and I’m delighted it’s gone ahead and we can move the building forward into the 21st Century and restore it to its former glory of the Sixties and Seventies. I think Mr Norcross is the man to do that and put it firmly back on the map.”
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