The plans include a refurbishment and extension of a grade II listed building into a four star hotel

The Watson building, next to Lewis’s on Renshaw Street, and the neighbouring former Rapid Hardware paint shop, were acquired by Central Regeneration Limited Partnership, a joint venture comprising Merepark and Irish developer Ballymore, last year.

The 70,000 sq ft Watson building will be extended onto the site of the former Rapid Hardware paint shop to form a 170,000 sq ft, 180 bedroom, four star-plus hotel designed by international architects Woods Bagot

An international hotel operator has already been secured. The scheme’s approval would secure a further £50m investment for the city centre.

Ian Jones, director of Merepark, part of Central Regeneratio, said: ‘Working closely with our architects, Woods Bagot, we have developed a scheme which responds well to the local surroundings and provides another dynamic link to Central Village. Sustainability is at the centre of our vision and we’re confident that this proposal, combined with our plans for the Lewis’s building and Central Village, will result in an exciting mixed-use quarter that brings new purpose and opportunity to the city.’

A planning decision is expected by mid-summer and if successful, Central Regeneration, hopes to be on site before the end of 2008.