Premier Inn, the budget hotel operator, is planning a 54-bedroom floating hotel in Hartlepool.

Premier Inn has come up with the concept as part of its target to open 55,000 rooms by 2012. It currently has 38,000 rooms.

Mark Anderson, property director for parent company Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants, said: 'This floating hotel concept has the potential to transform the redevelopment of historic docks and open up new investment opportunities in waterfront locations.’

The Premier Inn hotel will float vertically with the tide but horizontal movement will be restricted by sleeved piles driven into the marina.

This will ensure lateral stability and no movement will be perceptible to guests.

The hotel will be built on a reinforced concrete transfer slab – cast directly onto four rectangular pontoons made from a durable concrete and polyglass composite.

The four-storey superstructure above deck level will be constructed using a lightweight steel panel frame system.

The floating hotel will be linked to an existing Premier Inn on the quayside by a pedestrian ramp and an external platform lift will conform to the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

Subject to planning consent being agreed, work will start in the spring and will be ready for occupation by early 2010.