PLANS to reopen a seafront hotel have been approved despite opposition from neighbours.
Now, Judith Lennox, who submitted the proposals for the venue, in Tempest Road, Seaham, is asking the community to “give me a chance”.
Durham County Council has granted the businesswoman a licence for North Pier Lodge.
Judith, from Ashbrooke, in Sunderland, claims there has been a lot of misunderstanding over her plans for the hotel.
“People think it is going to create a lot of traffic and antisocial behaviour.
“People are going to be able to have guests there when they are staying but not the general public,” she said.
Miss Lennox said the original licensing application to the council covered a wide range of activities and entertainment, as she believed she needed to put down anything that might take place at the venue.
It included a request for a 24-hour alcohol licence, which Ms Lennox said is needed because the hotel has mini bars in its rooms.
“It’s kicked off that we wanted to have boxing matches, but we do certain sports as part of our lives, like martial arts, but it does not mean we want to have tournaments.
“I have learnt a lot from the whole process,” she said.
“Give me a chance – I just want to prove myself.”
Her revised application was agreed by the council’s statutory licensing sub-committee, from which a bid to open a beer garden had been removed.
The businesswoman has also put together an extensive list of measures to reduce the risk of and deal with nuisance behaviour.
These include the installation of CCTV, a Challenge 25 policy, refusing drink to anyone who has had enough, employing door staff, ensuring all staff are CRB checked and working with the police and council.
Miss Lennox, who is launching the venture with father John, hopes the hotel will open next month and will eventually create jobs for local people.
A new planning application is expected to follow the licence approval.
Ian Dobson, who has lived in one of the houses near the hotel development for more than 30 years, said he and others would like to see the properties become family homes once again.
After the meeting, he said: “It’s not what we wanted, but if it’s an asset to the community and properly run, that’s OK.
“Our concern is that it becomes something other than this and this is just the thin edge of the wedge.”
County councillors Dan Myers, who lives in nearby North Terrace, and Bob Arthur had objected to the application.
Coun Arthur said he was against the proposals on the grounds of public nuisance and public safety.
Coun Myers raised similar concerns and said the licence would “fundamentally alter the character of the area” with noise and parking issues causing a disruption to neighbours and affecting traffic in the area.