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‘Why do we need another 100-bed hotel in Blackpool?’

Picture Martin Bostock
 �3m construction work starts at Blackpools landmark site of former Yatess Wine Lodge.

Picture Martin Bostock �3m construction work starts at Blackpools landmark site of former Yatess Wine Lodge.

Hoteliers have hit out at proposals for new holiday accommodation in the centre of Blackpool.

As revealed by The Gazette this week, a fresh planning application could be in the pipeline for the former Yates’s site in Talbot Square.

Councillors have revealed proposals for a five storey, 100-bedroom hotel are on the cards.

Some town centre businesses have welcomed the potential investment, but hoteliers say there are already enough bedrooms in the resort with some guest house owners struggling to survive.

Andrew Jefferies, of the Oak Lea Hotel on Albert Road, said: “Why do we need another 100 bedrooms in this town?

“Some of us are doing well, but you have to work very hard at it and it is fierce. The existing bed stock is quite enough because the market now is for short breaks and many hotels are struggling.”

Adrian Smirthwaite, of The Albany Hotel on Albert Road, said: “It doesn’t make any sense at all at a time when some people are having to hand their keys in because they can’t make their existing hotels work.

“What we really need is a new major attraction for the town.”

Charlie Docherty, of The Astoria on Hull Road, and chairman of the Central Holiday Area PACT (police and community together), said: “The council has always said there are far too many bedrooms yet, in the same breath, they give planning permission for big new hotels.

“You can’t have it both ways.

“The big chains charge cheap prices because they can bear the short term loss and then put the prices back up when they have put their competition out of business.”

Claire Smith, (above), president of hoteliers group StayBlackpool, said while she wanted to see investment, it had to offer something new.

She said: “Talbot Square is part of our shop window and we absolutely need something on that site.

“But we already have an abundance of well run three star accommodation.

“What we need is a different standard and type of accommodation to what is already being offered.”

Developer Reco Build started work on the Yates’s site last September on a scheme to include a Tesco and a buffet-style restaurant.

But work has since stopped amid fresh talks with council planners over the possibility of an alternative hotel scheme.

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.

 

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