Plans to sort out the Quality Hotel on Plymouth’s waterfront are moving at a cracking pace, with the sale now complete and demolition contractors appointed.
Plymouth City Council has appointed Westcountry firm Gilpin, who start work on site this week to take down the building that has blighted the city’s waterfront.
Hoardings will be the first change that people will see as the contractors begin the task of securing the site.
Councillor Mark Lowry, Cabinet Member for Finance and Assets said: “We’re wasting no time. We want this eyesore down as soon as possible so that we can prepare the land for redevelopment. We want a hotel of international standing.
“With Mayflower 400 on the horizon, we need to act now to attract a high-calibre hotel. If we want to make the most of the amazing opportunity Mayflower 400 presents this city, we need to offer as wide a choice of accommodation as possible, including four or five star.”
He added: “We’ve had really great comments from lots of people who say buying this building is a fantastic opportunity and view it as an exciting step for the city.”
The company will immediately carry out a detailed asbestos survey of the building and install a temporary office as well as arrange for the building to have its utilities disconnected.
Once the asbestos survey has been completed, they will begin stripping out the fittings and features from the entire 10-storey building.
Gilpin’s most recent demolition job in Plymouth was taking down the YMCA building at North Cross. The company is also working on the new coach station site in the West End.
Director Gary Giles of Gilpin said; “The Quality has its challenges – as do all projects. The main one is its closeness to the road, but it should be an interesting project. I think most people will be glad to see the back of this building.”
The Council will be marketing the site later in the Spring and over the coming weeks, a brief will be put together and a hotel expert appointed to help attract the right developer and hotel operator.
The Council is also consulting on a Public Spaces Protection Order to prevent unauthorised people entering the site. Offenders can be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £100. If their action is more serious, such as arson, they can be summonsed to court .
Councillor Philippa Davey, Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities said: “The fact the Council has bought this site and is taking positive action is fantastic news, however, given the history of vandalism, we need to make sure we are doing all we can to prevent further problems which could slow down progress with the redevelopment.
To access the consultation on the proposed order visit www.plymouth.gov.uk/spqualityhotel