COUNCILLORS have given their unanimous backing to plans to build a new 65-bedroom hotel at Hartlepool Marina.
Developers Jomast have been given permission to build the new five-storey hotel at The Lanyard, in Hartlepool, on land next to the KFC restaurant and Vue Cinema.
Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning committee backed the plans for the development at the site, which is known as Metropolitan Park.
It is understood the development, on the car park to the east of KFC, will create six full-time and nine part-time jobs.
The hotel, which is to be operated by Travelodge, will include a reception area, restaurant and bar.
Jim Ferguson, the council’s principal planning officer, said it was his understanding that the ground floor restaurant, which would serve the hotel, would be a separate franchise.
Mr Ferguson added: “In policy terms it is an acceptable site for a hotel.”
Conservative group leader Ray Wells said: “In the current economic climate we should be encouraging development on that site, which has been waste land for the past 20 years.
“This could be a catalyst for other developments.”
Independent councillor Hilary Thompson added: “From a tourism and economic angle we need this.
“It would be a good addition to the town.”
Labour councillor Marjorie James raised concerns about poor drainage on the whole of the marina, which was supported by Labour councillor Rob Cook and Liberal Democrat councillor Edna Wright.
But the plans were unanimously backed by all members when it came to the vote.
Ahead of the meeting, planners had received five letters of objection, 10 letters of no objection and one letter of support.
Nearby Mecca Bingo was among the objectors over concerns about noise and traffic during construction.
But Mr Ferguson said there was a “good distance” between the two sites and that it was not appropriate to put in a condition to restrict the hours of construction work.
Nobody from Jomast attended the meeting, and were unavailable for comment when contacted by the Mail.
The new hotel will have both family and double rooms and it will be around the corner from the Premier Inn hotel, off Maritime Avenue.
The development is part of the Jomast Trincomalee Wharf scheme, near the Museum of Hartlepool, which could include a mix of shops, accommodation, offices and restaurants.