Island hotel in Plymouth Sound under starter’s orders

Paul Barnard, Asst Director for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure and Deputy Leader of the Council, Patrick Nicholson

Planning decision notices have now been issued to the owners of Drake’s Island, pushing the scheme closer to the starting line.

Listed building consent and planning notices have now been sent to Rotolok, the company behind the scheme to transform the island into a multi-million hotel and spa resort.

Councillor Patrick Nicholson, deputy leader of the council said: “This project is a momentous one for the Council, for Plymouth and I am delighted we have reached this stage.

“Huge amounts of work have been going on behind the scenes to get to the position of being able to present the case to the Planning Committee in such a way that it was unanimously approved.

“We believe we have struck the right balance between protecting what makes this location special and forging an exciting new chapter for this incredible island.

 “There are few cities lucky enough to have an island let alone one which is both historically and environmentally important. This project has presented us all with a unique set of challenges, but we have met them.”

“We want to smooth the way for work to start on site as soon as possible so it’s great to see these notices issued within a week of the decision being taken.

The section 106 legal agreement has also been signed which guarantees future public access for a minimum of 15 days a year. This will need to be controlled and managed by the developer as the site is privately owned and there are protected species on and around the island.

Issuing the notices is the next stage in the planning process. The company has a number of pre-commencement conditions ahead of spades going into the ground.

An initial planning application for a new island was first submitted in 1999.

Last week the Planning Committee voted unanimously to give permission to the ambitious development which includes the conversion of Grade II listed Island House, Barracks and Ablutions Blocks, Scheduled Ancient Monument casemated battery and landscaping, refurbishment of jetty and infrastructure works.