Work on the controversial redevelopment of a seaside hotel in Kent has got under way with a promise that it will drive the town's economy.
Funding of the £12m refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel will be helped by the building of 75 flats and houses in the 50-acre grounds.
Planning permission was granted for the scheme in October 2009 despite objections from residents.
The first phase of work on the hotel will be completed by December 2011.
It will get a new roof, restaurant and kitchen, conference facilities and some refurbished bedrooms.
Later phases will include a new business centre and golf clubhouse.
"This is the start of an exciting new chapter in the history of the hotel and will ensure Hythe has a hotel of which it can be rightly proud," said chairman of the development GSE Group.
"By December 2013, the Hythe Imperial Hotel will be restored to its position as one of the county's most respected hotels and major economic driver for the town and district."
Work on the first 31 homes in the former kitchen gardens will begin by the end of this year and will take about a year.
Objectors to the development, the Campaign to Protect the Hythe Imperial Land, said it would adversely affect the local area which borders the Royal Military Canal, a scheduled ancient monument.
But it was backed by Hythe Town Council and the local chamber of commerce.