Exmouth’s residents have been given their first chance to see what Premier Inn might be building on the site of the Elizabeth Hall.

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The hotel chain held a public exhibition at the Pavilion last weekend, to tell residents about what the hotel could bring to the town.

More than 300 people attended to view the exhibition panels, meet the development team and look at a number of initial draft designs, with feedback forms available at the exhibition for public comments.

Richard Pearson, of Premier Inn’s parent company Whitbread, said: “We want to get our proposed hotel right so we are very grateful to everyone who attended the public exhibition and left us their feedback.

“We are currently analysing the comments received which will help us improve and refine the scheme, ultimately making it better.”

The location plan displayed at the exhibition shows the hotel building itself being built at the front of the hall site, running along the Esplanade and curving round onto the current site of the public toilets.

The site of the hall itself, which would be demolished, would then be used for a 50 place car park, which would be mostly hidden from the seafront.

As well as the location plan, other drawings were shown which suggested what the hotel itself could look like – although Premier Inn insisted these were just ideas, and nothing has been decided about the hotel’s appearance.

The chain says the 60-bedroom hotel, which will include a ground floor restaurant and café, will create around 50 jobs.

Premier Inn’s proposals have come about after it was named as the preferred bidder for the Elizabeth Hall site by East Devon District Council, which decided to sell it as part of its Exmouth Vision.

The plan went ahead despite a 12,000 strong petition calling for the hall to be saved, with a bid by community group Friends of Elizabeth Hall among those rejected by EDDC.

Premier Inn’s consultation will run until January 7. Those who missed the exhibition can still take part by visiting www.premierinnexmouth.co.uk

A formal planning application is then expected in early 2013.

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