Whitby’s former council offices will be transformed into a new hotel despite objections from a local church.
Zoe and Andrew Cottier bought the old Scarborough Council offices in Skinner Street with designs on turning it into destination accommodation.
In their application to the borough council, the pair said they wanted to paint the building gold and black and call the hotel “The Jet Black Jewel Hotel” in reference to the gemstone made famous in Whitby.
The building will have nine rooms over three floors and the ground floor will be a café/bar serving local drinks and produce.
The plans were approved last week by Scarborough Council planning officers despite a number of objections.
Whitby Evangelical Church objected as it was concerned patrons would park in its private car park and that the cafe/bar would cause disturbance to the neighbours.
There were also half a dozen objections from nearby residents concerned about the impact on parking locally and on the one-way Skinner Street.
One wrote: “This is unwelcome over-development in a controlled parking zone which does not provide parking facilities for guests, staff or delivery vehicles. The latter already use pavements along Skinner Street.”
Scarborough Council’s planning officers passed the application, noting that the Highways Agency had no concerns about the impact of the hotel on parking or road safety in the area.
The planning report added: “This proposal which will offer year-round tourism is encouraged in the local plan.”
Scarborough Council sold the four-storey building to the couple last year after being unable to secure a long-term tenant to take over the property.
The Jet Black Jewel will be a “boutique” experience for its guests and also draw on Whitby’s folklore as inspiration for its rooms.