Legal issues slow progress on major new Plymouth hotel

The demolished site of the former Quality Hotel on Plymouth Hoe.
-Credit: (Image: Matt Gilley/PlymouthLive)


Legal issues have slowed progress on a project to build a 150-bedroom hotel on Plymouth Hoe. But site-owner Plymouth City Council and the chosen developer are both keen to get a Hilton Garden Inn and luxury flats built on the waterfront.

The council today said its “firm intention” was to have the hotel and apartments constructed on a site which has been derelict since a previous hotel was demolished in 2016. Just last month, the boss of Propiteer Hotels Plymouth Ltd told PlymouthLive he is still committed to building on the site and aims to submit plans this summer.

In March 2022, the council announced that Propiteer had been chosen to build a hotel and three blocks of flats on the spot where the Quality hotel was torn down. A previous developer had failed to bring forward a scheme when it couldn’t raise finance.

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Today, the council said it had been dealing with legal matters which had caused a delay, but it was still keen to see the plot developed. A spokesperson said: “In March 2022 Propiteer Hotels Ltd was selected as the council’s preferred developer for the site of the former Quality Hotel and a Hilton Garden Inn of at least 150 bedrooms has been proposed for the site, along with a number of residential apartments.

“As the owners of the site, we are addressing some legal matters concerning the area around the site and this has slowed progress. However, it remains our firm intention to see a hotel and apartments developed on the site and we hope that Propiteer will shortly be able to re-start the pre-application process.”

Last month, David Marshall, co-founder and director of Propiteer, told PlymouthLive that plans for the hotel were still alive despite a firm associated with the project going bust with debts of about £10m. Mr Marshall said the liquidation of holding company Never What if Group Ltd - controlling party for Propiteer Hotels Ltd which in turn controls Propiteer Hotels Plymouth Ltd - would not derail plans for a Hilton Garden Inn branded hotel on the Hoe.

He told PlymouthLive: “Propiteer is unaffected by the liquidation and there is no impact on the Hoe project. We still are hoping to have the plans completed and submitted over the summer.”

The Hoe site has been derelict for eight years now after the Quality Hotel was demolished. In 2016 the council chose Henley Real Estate Development Ltd to deliver a scheme which would have seen a hotel sited in front of an apartment block.

Plans for an 11-floor hotel with 80 beds, and a 15-floor block of 88 apartments, were approved in 2017. The local authority was hoping the scheme would be finished in time for the Mayflower 400 celebrations in 2020. The “five-star” hotel was even to be called 1620 to mark the connection.

But the development never started with the council’s then cabinet member for finance Mark Lowry said in 2020 that the company behind the plans had been unable to raise finance for the project. In 2021 global real estate adviser Colliers International was brought in by the council to market the land. Then, in March 2022, it was announced that Propiteer Hotels would be partnering with leading global hospitality company Hilton to build a Hilton Garden Inn with 150 guest rooms and a skybar, offering panoramic views of The Sound.

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