Hotel and restaurant plan on Grimsby's Europarc given the go-ahead
THE final phase of Grimsby's flagship business park has been given the green light.
Planners yesterday granted outline planning permission for the last stage of development on Europarc, which is expected to create around 1,700 jobs.
The development will comprise additional industrial and warehousing units and office space, as well as a 60-room hotel, restaurant, gym, creche, shops and cafe.
Ivan Hinchliffe, planning manager at Wykeland Group, which owns the site, said the application was a renewal of a previous application submitted back in 1996.
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He told members of North East Lincolnshire Council's Planning Committee that the hotel and restaurant were "vital" for attracting new businesses to the site.
He said: "Wykeland has enjoyed success in attracting businesses to our sites on the North Bank during a time of recession and we feel outline planning permission for Europarc will enable us to achieve similar success on the South Bank."
Mr Hinchliffe said he would today be meeting a restaurant operator which specialises in business park developments.
He added: "We are not proposing to develop a separate pub or restaurant. It will be a single building. It could be a pub that sells food, or more likely a restaurant that sells drinks."
Planning officer Martin Dixon told the committee that having a pub or restaurant would not have a detrimental effect on trade in the town centre.
He said that although the site was in a "high flood risk area", a flood evacuation management plan drawn up with the Environment Agency and a plan to raise floor levels by three metres had dealt satisfactorily with the issue.
Councillor Philip Jackson (Con, Waltham) said: "I very much welcome this proposal. If a hotel is going to help to promote local business and industry and make the area more attractive from an investment viewpoint we should be supporting it."
Councillor Terry Thurogood (Lab, Croft Baker) said: "There is a demand for a hotel along the A180 corridor. A good quality hotel that has a national profile is something that we have lacked in North East Lincolnshire.
"This is our main economic development site in the borough so I fully support this application."
Councillor Ray Sutton (Lab, Freshney) expressed doubts about the need for an out-of-town hotel, given that one could be included as part of Grimsby Town Football Club's proposed relocation to the Peaks Parkway.
However, Councillor Andrew De Freitas (Lib Dem, Park) said it was premature to talk about the football stadium development as no planning application had yet been submitted for it.
He added: "I welcome this development. Certainly there is a need for a hotel on this site."