AN ICONIC Essex hotel with planning permission to be transformed into a modern leisure complex has gone on the market for £3 million.
The 135-year-old Royal Hotel was one of the first buildings to be built in Clacton by Peter Bruff who is credited with founding the town during the Victorian era.
The building, located on Marine Parade East, has been put on the market by owners Rovestar Developments.
It is being sold through specialist leisure agents Fleurets and was given planning permission in April by Tendring District Council for the refurbishment which could see part of it demolished and rebuilt as a 21-bedroom hotel, restaurant and bar with up to seven commercial units and 46 residential apartments.
The three-storey site is located in a conservation area and conditions of the permission include the payment of more than £350,000 to the council for affordable housing provision and the restoration of a missing chimney.
The sale lot totals nearly one acre and includes a large area to the rear that was once the Pavillion Garage in Colne Road.
Fleurets Director Bob Whittle said the Royal was a “prominent building” in the town and was a superb opportunity.
He said that although part of the ground floor and a section of the first floor was subject to a long-term lease and currently used as a pub by the Wetherspoon chain, the “grand” building would benefit from a facelift.
He said: “In essence it`s a mixed bag in terms of development opportunities. It has a rather grand façade looking out to the pier.”
The Royal was built in 1872 and has stood empty for several years after closing as a hotel in the mid 1990s before briefly housing asylum seekers.
It was one of the landmark buildings that formed the basis of the town which was once a booming holiday destination, popular with those living in London`s West End keen to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
The resort`s original pier was the first building to be constructed by Mr Bruff in the modern Clacton and the hotel was one of the next major projects he undertook.