A DERELICT hotel in Newquay that has been ravaged by two major fires in two years could be demolished as soon as October.
The Riviera Hotel, on Lusty Glaze Road, was targeted by arsonists in September 2011 and again in August last year, when 10 fire engines and 60 firefighters were needed to bring the blaze under control.
The fires have prompted concerned neighbours and councillors to demand the asbestos-ridden building be pulled down before someone is seriously hurt.
But site owner Acorn Blue has always said there is not enough cash in the coffers to pay for the demolition – until now.
Company boss Dave Stein told the Cornish Guardian this week that he was preparing to submit a new planning application which, if supported, would pave the way for the demolition.
"We're happy to demolish but we are also aware that we don't want to go down the route of spending £150,000 only to be told we aren't getting any support with the planning application," Mr Stein said.
"It's a bit chicken-and-egg, but I would like to think our proposals will be deemed acceptable and welcomed."
Previous plans for an apart-hotel complex on the site had been scrapped and fresh proposals for a residential development similar to Ocean Gate at Pentire would be submitted soon, said Mr Stein.
His team was due to meet Cornwall Council's planners for pre-application discussions on Thursday last week and if it appeared likely that the new proposals would be supported, and the town council backed the plans ahead of a final decision by Cornwall Council, demolition work could begin as soon as October.
"If there's a broad agreement that the concept is good then we will aim to demolish as quickly as possible because we would like to be on site as soon as possible," he said.
"If the town council support us it will give us confidence, but I don't want to sound like we're holding a gun to their head."
The news has been welcomed by those living near the derelict building.
Retired engineer Briant Colwill, 66, of Bonython Road, said: "As the Australians might say, 'You little beauty'. It's about time too.
"We've had so much trouble with that building, the fires and people running in and out of there.
"It's an eyesore."
Barry Colley, 74, of Carminow Way, said: "It would be great news if they finally knocked it down.
"It's a complete mess. We've tried to ignore it for years but you can only ignore it to a certain extent when it looks like that."