PERMISSION has been granted to rebuild part of a hotel which was ravaged in a devastating blaze.
The Quality Hotel, in Witney Way, on Boldon Business Park, has been closed since flames tore through its single-storey health spa, reception and function room in November last year.
Now the hotel owners hope to rebuild the property in time for it re-opening before Christmas this year.
This week, members of South Tyneside Council’s planning committee gave their approval to construct a new two-storey hotel to replace the section destroyed.
Fortunately, most of the accommodation block, housing 82 rooms, remained unscathed by the fire.
Mike Chawla, director of the hotel, said the planning permission approval had been the culmination of months of hard work.
He added: “We are very delighted that we will be able to start work on the hotel soon.
“We will be back in business as soon as possible, hopefully just before Christmas, which has been our objective.
“The last three or four months have been very hard, no doubt about it.
“We already have people working for us and we have done our best to safeguard their jobs.
“We are delighted to get planning permission and now things will move in the right direction.”
The fire saw Christmas parties, business conferences and the wedding plans of customers left in tatters.
More than 40 firefighters spent three hours tackling the blaze, which spread through the single-storey health spa, reception and function room as guests and staff fled the scene.
The proposed works on the ground floor will include rebuilding the reception and new pool and leisure facilities, restaurant and function room.
Labour councillor Bill Brady hailed the hotel an “asset” to the area.
And his Labour colleague Eileen Leask added: “I’d move this application. It’s excellent.”