A ‘quality’ hotel could be built at the heart of Brixham to fill the town centre void left by the collapse of the Tesco supermarket development.

Hotel developers have expressed an interest in the ‘black hole’ site.

The news was revealed by Pat Steward, Torbay Council’s head of strategic planning, at an English Riviera Tourism Company industry update at the Imperial Hotel on Wednesday.

He said: “There is really strong demand for high quality hotel space. Brixham has a lot of staying visitors.

“We have also had good interest from the market place who tell us they are really interested in providing a hotel there.

“You can see that working in that location. We are just exploring the possibilities and I personally believe Brixham needs a high quality hotel in the town centre and we can achieve it.”

Brixham Chamber of Commerce vice chairman Keith Williams said it was ‘a bit of a surprise’.

He said: “There’s no doubt Brixham has a shortage of tourist accommodation but I’m not sure it would be the ideal place to put a hotel. It would be very convenient for tourists and the town would welcome the extra footfall but I would imagine there are better sites. I don’t think it’s so important to be central as long as it’s in the proximity of the town. I would be concerned about the height of the hotel. They would have to build it up quite a bit to give guests a view of the harbour.

“What the town needs most of all is parking facilities. If we had a supermarket and extended car park we could compete with out-of-town stores.

“A hotel is desirable if there’s nothing else on the table but a supermarket would be of more economic benefit to the town.

“We’re running out of good areas where we can develop the economy. We have to be careful about what we allow to happen and make sure it’s best for the long-term and not just for a quick buck.”

Brixham Town Council chairman Paul Addison said as far as he was aware, two supermarkets are still interested in the site. He said: “I think it’s the wrong site for a hotel because what we need is a car park.”

Original Story by Caroline Abbott, The Herald Express. Reproduced by kind permission of author/publisher.