Hotel plan for former nightclub

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NEIGHBOURS of a historic landmark are being invited to comment on plans to turn the building into a hotel.

Developers have submitted fresh plans to convert the derelict Wesley Chapel in Hartlepool town centre into a hotel and restaurant.

A consultation process is underway and planning officers at Hartlepool Borough Council are inviting residents and businesses in the area to comment on the proposals before planning permission is decided.

A letter from the council to local neighbours states: “It is important to realise that the council cannot reject a proposal simply because a lot of people are against it,

“They can only consider objections which are relevant to planning issues.

“The key question is whether the proposal is acceptable in land use and environmental terms.

“If the case officer thinks your concerns are relevant and justified he will consider if there are ways of changing or controlling the development to meet your concerns.”

The 19th Century chapel and former nightclub in Wesley Square has stood empty for a number of years.

Stockton-based developer Jomast submitted plans for a 36-bedroom hotel which were approved by the council in December 2009.

But the permission is due to expire in December this year after work did not start within the three-year time limit.

Now Jomast has submitted fresh plans to Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning department.

It is for permission to convert the existing vacant buildings into a hotel with the loss of the existing nightclub and leisure club.

It also includes plans for a modern, bistro-style licensed restaurant and bar.

The new proposals seek to increase the number of bedrooms to 49 and make other modifications in order to make the plans more viable.

Jomast has previously said new “high quality hotel accommodation” would be a great benefit to the town.

The Wesley, built in 1872, is a Grade II listed building.

In December 2007, the Wesley nightclub reopened its doors to revellers for a trial run after being closed for three years, but closed shortly afterwards.

It also used to house the Wesley Gym before it closed.

The consultation period runs until Wednesday, October 10.