Glass HQ ‘go-ahead’

Central Business District, Blackpool, artist's impression of the area previously referred to as the Talbot Gateway
Central Business District, Blackpool, artist's impression of the area previously referred to as the Talbot Gateway

Detailed plans for the £220m regeneration of part of Blackpool town centre are poised to get the go-ahead.

Councillors are being recommended to approve an application by developer Muse which will see a five-storey new council headquarters built using glass on a site between Cookson Street, Swainson Street, Talbot Road and George Street.

Buildings Chief John Donnellon

Buildings Chief John Donnellon

The development will see the Tache nightclub on Cookson Street and empty shop units demolished, while land vacated when the indoor bowling centre was bulldozed will also be used.

Outline planning approval is already in place, but Blackpool’s planning committee is being asked to approve the details of the scheme when it meets on Monday in order to allow construction to begin in the new year.

Three retail units are also proposed on the ground floor.

A report to the committee says: “The proposed building is one of primarily glass construction with metal support columns on the northern and western elevations, set back from the support columns will be the shop frontages.”

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Meanwhile councillors are also being urged to agree plans to refurbish the Talbot Road multi-storey car park after delaying a decision at their last meeting.

They had called for investigations to be made into whether art deco friezes, which had originally decorated the building, had survived intact beneath cladding put on in the 1960s.

Planning officers say a letter from Muse’s agent has been received stating “some of the internal panels in the car park were removed in July of this year to allow for an inspection of the void between the cladding and the original elevations of the car park and also to allow an inspection of the elevations.

“These inspections revealed in most cases that the original faience tiling had been removed.”

The committee is now being recommended to approve the proposals to refurbish the car park.

The third element of phase one of the scheme is for a Sainsbury’s supermarket. Plans have been lodged which are due before the committee at a future date.

John Donnellon, Blackpool Council’s service director for built environment, said the focus of the scheme was generating new jobs and boosting the town centre economy.

He added: “This project will be a big boost for the town centre economy with our workers based in the middle, and buying lunch and other goods there.”