'Significant progress' made in Drake's Island resort plan
Developers looking to turn Plymouth's Drakes Island into a hotel and resort say they hope some building work can begin by early next year.
Rotolok, the firm owned by former Plymouth Argyle Chairman Dan McCauley finally received permission to develop on the island in April this year.
That was after over two decades of legal battles with various bodies who prioritised the protection of various rare species who inhabit the island, situated in Plymouth Sound.
Now developers day they have created a phased plan of action on transforming the island's existing buildings into a boutique hotel and spa.
The plans include turning the Barrack Block and former Governor's house on the island into a restaurant, visitor's centre and spa, with 25 separate bedrooms. While the separate casemates building will be home to 18 suites.
However, the nature of the island means that any build will not be straightforward.
Tests are underway to ensure the island has sufficient power and water connected by cables and pipes to the mainland. Developers also hope construction on the existing jetty also be complete by early next year, so workers and material can be ferried safely onto the island.
Various protected species also make Drake's Island their home, including egrets, horseshoe bats and seahorses also breed in the seagrasses under the jetty.
It means developers have not announced a completion date.
However, part of the plans involve access for the public to take tours of the island, and that can start to take place during construction. With the first groups hoping to access the island during the Mayflower 400 celebrations in three years time.
Sean Swales, managing director at Rotolok, said:
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