West Hoe building: Work to begin on £3.8m seafront development
WORK on a £3.8million waterfront apartment block at West Hoe is now expected to start in November – and it is already drawing attention from potential purchasers.
Lawrence Butler, chairman of developers Devington Homes, said contractors would be "digging a big hole in the ground" at the former tennis courts on Pier Street soon.
And even before the ground is broken, the four-storey block is attracting attention for its 14 flats.
"It will sell well," Mr Butler said. "We've had inquiries already and it's not been promoted at all."
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Plymouth-based North Cliff Construction has been appointed to build the block, Mr Butler said.
"It will take 15 months to build and finish," he added. "That takes us to the spring of 2014."
The flats, each of which will have "high ceilings and sea views", will be above a cafe looking on to West Hoe park, with 21 parking spaces accessed from the rear service lane.
Mr Butlersaid he would be involved with the project on a "weekly basis".
He had hoped to start the build, the target of a long-running campaign by neighbouring residents, in April.
But that was moved back to this month and now is scheduled for a November start.
"We'll be starting in a couple of months time," he said.
The initial plan for the site was rejected by Plymouth City Council's planning committee in October 2011 because of an adverse impact on residents, the neighbouring Hoe conservation area and West Hoe Park.
But a resubmitted scheme, reduced from five to four storeys, was accepted in January.
Mr Butler said the planning process had been "painful at the time".
But he stressed: "Now we are talking to neighbours. They will see a smart building."
Mr Butler's company has just completed the renovation of the former Grand Hotel, into what is being marketed as a £13million apartment block.
And earlier this week The Herald revealed work is expected to start on Devington's delayed £55million Oceanique skyscraper, at Derry's Cross, next spring, creating 500 jobs.
Mr Butler said he was close to finalising deals which would finance construction of the 32-storey tower.
But he has said finance of the much smaller Pier Street development is already in place and described it as a "tick over" project.