Plans for a 10-story, five-star resort at the site of the old Pageant Beach hotel were approved by the Central Planning Authority Wednesday.

The application for a 456-room hotel with six pools, two restaurants, a movie theater and a boardwalk, was given outline approval last year. However, developer Howard Hospitality Group had to go back before the planning authority Wednesday to get approval for specific design details, including parking and setback distances from the ocean.

That was granted this week and the developer can now seek building permits to begin construction.

There were several objections to the project, mostly from condo owners in the neighboring strata development, Poinsettia. Chief among the complaints were the size and height of the development, the possibility of noise pollution and concerns over traffic and parking. Some residents suggested large tourism developments on this scale should be confined to the northern end of the beach.

In its analysis of the application, the Planning Department indicated that two other 10-story projects had been approved on Seven Mile Beach and that this project fit within the allowed zoning for the site.

It indicated that the design had sufficient parking spaces for the size of the project, though some were “stackable” spaces.

“This site is located on the southern fringe of the Seven Mile Beach tourism corridor and is surrounded by commercial development, apartments and restaurants. Although this site has been vacant for a number of years, the Pageant Beach Hotel previously existed on this site in the 1970s,” the Planning Department noted.

The Howard group and its partner, New Jersey-based Madison Hill Properties, purchased the land for the site for US$25 million in December last year. Michael Wilkings of HHG said the aim was to open the hotel in 2020.

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