A £10m new hotel on Blackpool Promenade is back on the cards just months after planners threw out the original proposals.
Developers have returned with fresh plans for the site at the corner of the Promenade and Chapel Street, which town hall bosses admit is desperate for regeneration.
Now councillors are being recommended to approve the outline scheme when it goes back before Blackpool Council’s planning committee on Monday.
If it gets permission, it would see rundown buildings on the site opposite Central Pier replaced with a five– storey 124-bedroom hotel with a raised rotunda at the northern end facing towards the Tower.
The hotel reception has been moved to the front of the proposed building to make it more prominent, while the height has been reduced at the rear to ensure it is more in keeping with existing properties in the area.
Architect Alan Jones, who has produced a design on behalf of the London-based developers who own the site, said: “The essential difference is we have brought the hotel reception to the northern end facing the Tower and reduced the height of the rear of the building.
“So we feel the main concerns of the planning committee have been addressed, and of course it must be remembered this is an outline application at this stage.
“I am hopeful it will get through this time.
“It is a prime site and we think what we are proposing is very exciting. There is interest from investors and that will exponentially increase if there is permission for development on the site.”
The plans also include a bar, restaurant and cafe on the ground floor. Councillors were unhappy with the original layout of the ground floor when the proposals came before them in March this year.
There were concerns that by locating the hotel reception at the back, the site would be dominated by the bar and restaurant rather than the hotel.
A report to councillors warns the proposal does not deliver adequate car parking provision but the applicant says “none of the major national hotel chains that have been approached would be interested in a scheme which included a greater amount of car parking provision.”
The application has been submitted by Messrs Sidhu, who were represented by Paul Chohan the last time the application was considered by councillors.
Coun John Jones, whose Bloomfield ward includes the application site, said potential private investment had to be encouraged. He said: “It is a prime site which is in need of some form of redevelopment.
“Providing this scheme is of high quality, is in keeping with the rest of the area and meets our planning regulations, then I would welcome it.
“We should be looking at any decent proposals which bring in private investment, such as we have seen recently in the Talbot Gateway area of the town centre.”
A report by planners says the existing buildings on the site have “a cluttered and incoherent appearance which is detrimental to the quality of the streetscene of this section of the Promenade.”
It adds “the development proposed would bring clear regenerative benefits to this stretch.”
There is already planning permission in place for hotels on two other town centre sites which so far has not been acted upon. Approval was given in 2006 for a 63-bedroom, five-storey hotel facing the Winter Gardens in Coronation Street, while in 2010 permission was granted for a 156-bedroom six storey hotel on land between Adelaide Street, Alfred Street and Leopold Grove.
Both sites are currently being used as car parks.
In February this year, it was revealed planners had held talks with developers about the potential for a 100-bedroom hotel on the Yates’s site in Talbot Square, while a hotel is also earmarked for the next phase of the Talbot Gateway Central Business Distict, although no firm details have been released so far.
The planning committee is being recommended to approve the latest application in principle when it meets at 5pm on Monday at the town hall.