PLANS to renovate a landmark hotel into nine flats remain up in the air.
Hartlepool Borough Council owns the Grade II listed Market Hotel building (above), in Lynn Street, and has permission to breathe new life into the building by transforming it into flats.
But regeneration officers are still working with English Heritage to find a “sustainable” use for the site.
The building has been empty for several years after the closure of a restaurant business which ran from the building in 2007. That November police uncovered a £500,000 drug farm inside the former hotel, then known as M.A.S. Agraa Palace Indian restaurant.
The landmark building already has two flats but the latest plan was to convert the rest of the building into seven other flats.
There was recently structural concerns about the building so scaffolding was erected and adjacent Surtees Street was closed as a precaution.
A council spokesman said: “The building is Grade II listed and this makes dealing with it more challenging but the council is working with English Heritage, the government organisation responsible for listed buildings, to find a sustainable long-term use for the building or the site which will also complement the residential development at Empire Square.
“The building does have planning permission for residential development but due to structural concerns we have erected scaffolding around it as a precaution to maintain its stability.
“Now that the scaffolding is in place and the building is secure, the adjacent section of Surtees Street which had been closed as a precaution has now been re-opened.”
There had been plans to demolish it as part of a housing redevelopment scheme, but English Heritage rejected proposals.