PLANS to build six Newquay town houses worth £2.7 million on the site of Britain's worst hotel fire in 30 years have been approved by Cornwall Council.
It had been feared that developers The Verto Group could scrap their proposals for the former Penhallow Hotel site after a councillor threatened to take them through a lengthy council committee approval process.
But Geoff Brown withdrew his request, meaning the decision could be taken by a planning officer with delegated authority.
It has emerged this week that the plans for the £450,000 town houses have now been given the green light.
No one at the London-based developers was available for comment as the Cornish Guardian went to press.
But this summer the company's Richard Pearce said he hoped the four-bedroomed homes, collectively named Island Reach, could be on the market before next winter.
He said: "This is a prime site that can be seen from all over Newquay and we think it's time for it to be redeveloped to benefit the town.
"There are lots of companies erecting apartments but we wanted this site to be something different and have chosen to build family homes instead and we hope they will be permanent residences for local people."
The company originally contemplated building another hotel but decided it would not be financially viable, as no one would take the risk to invest.
Mr Pearce said: "We then discovered old photographs from the early 1900s which shows the building looking like town houses so we decided to recreate that but with a contemporary twist.
"The development is the same footprint as the former hotel. It is a lovely, quiet area, but still close to the amenities and the beaches."
Town and Cornwall councillor Pat Lambshead, who was mayor at the time of the fire, welcomed the news.
He said: "I am rather pleased as the site has laid empty for too long and has become an eyesore. I know some would like it to remain an open space, or a memorial for the victims, but that is not the way forward."