A LUXURY hotel on Basildon golf course is “not viable” and would end up costing taxpayers money, an expert study has revealed.

Basildon Council planned to sell land purchased for £1million for just £1 in order for a hotel to be developed.

The idea was the hotel would bring in much-needed revenue.

However a feasibility study, from property consultants Gerald Eve, state it would not work.

The report states: “The study concluded that while there is sufficient demand for a quality hotel on this site, the likely value achievable for a 100-room four star hotel would not be sufficient to cover the construction costs for such a hotel.

“Even allowing for a three year period for the hotel to stabilise, the value would still not surpass the cost of construction, meaning that there would not be any surplus available.

“The conclusion therefore is that a four star hotel is not viable and that the council would need to contribute in some form if this was the desired aim.”

Basildon Council may commit to a hotel anyway, although the recommendation is either a budget hotel – rather than a four star one– or keep it as open space with a view to marketing the site at a later date when demand has increased.

The study found that an additional use alongside a hotel could generate a positive land value, but none would cover the shortfall in value from building a luxury hotel.

Alternative options include a residential care home, a leisure facility such as a spa, a retail unit, a pub or a six-home residential development.

The report added: “If the aspiration of the council remains to deliver a four star hotel, then the council may need to consider disposing of the land for a nominal sum or contributing in some way to costs”.

Controversy has surrounded the plan since its inception, with initial plans to sell the land, purchased for more than £1million, to a developer for a £1, being delayed.