A Wyndham councillor’s suggestion that the former Bridge Hotel site in Werribee should be dismantled and sold off has been shot down by the area’s other councillors.

Cr Intaj Khan made the suggestion during a meeting last week, while the council debated a report into offering a 40-year (20+20) lease of the site to a hospitality, food and beverage business operator.

Cr Khan said he believed that instead of the lease, the council should “dismantle” the hotel, sell it and “use the money for something else”.

“I believe we can get a good price for the site,” he said.

However, none of the other councillors agreed with Cr Khan’s idea. Cr Heather Marcus stepped out of the council chambers due to a conflict of interest, but all the remaining councillors voted in favour of leasing the site to a food and beverage operator for four decades.

Cr Tony Hooper said that in doing so, the council would ensure the retention of the art deco hotel, which was built in the 1920s.

The council purchased the heritage-listed Watton Street building in 2016, as part of plans to rejuvenate Werribee’s town centre.

It ran an expressions of interest process last year seeking to lease the site for 15 years, but a council report tabled last week said many businesses had provided feedback that a 15-year lease was not long enough to justify the capital investment required in the building.

A second expression of interest process was conducted, offering a 40-year (20+20) lease. Three parties who made a submission during the second EOI round will be invited to submit a detailed tender to lease the hotel site.