Following discussions with the planners, the group hopes to be granted full planning permission for the property, which will open under the Zeal Hotels flag.
The company expects to start work onsite in the first quarter of 2023, with the hotel opening in the second quarter, of 2024.
Tim Wheeldon, managing director of Zeal Hotels, said: “The 13-year dream is quickly becoming a reality. We are nearing the end of the planning journey for our first hotel and anticipate being able to begin the build early next year.
“East Devon District Council has been incredibly helpful, working with us to bring this project to life.”
The 140-room hotel is aiming for a minimum BREEAM rating of Excellent, with a target of Outstanding. It will feature, meeting rooms, a restaurant, a bar, a gym, gardens, and numerous car charging points.
It will be located at Exeter Science Park, adjacent to J29 of the M5 Motorway and less than a mile away from Exeter airport.
Wheeldon said: “Demand for truly sustainable hotels has never been more pressing. COP 27 will continue to highlight the issues facing us and will serve to remind us that action and global consensus are what’s needed & now.
“The hotel sector has been slow to act and is lagging behind in the race – and requirement – to be zero carbon by 2050. Nearly 80% of the hotel stock we will have in 2050 has already been built and the hospitality industry has to reduce its carbon emissions by 66% on 2019 levels by 2030. This is a huge task & the later we leave it the more expensive it will be”
The development, which is backed by a private investor, will be operated by a third-party management company. Confirmation of the hotel’s operator is expected before the end of the year.
The property will be the first of a number of sustainable hotels Zeal Hotels plans to develop & open around the UK.