Residents snubbed in store go-ahead

Traders and hoteliers near the former bank on the junction of Dickson and Warley Road in Blackpool.

Traders and hoteliers near the former bank on the junction of Dickson and Warley Road in Blackpool.

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to demolish a former bank and build a convenience store in its place have been given the go-ahead despite objections from other traders.

A total of 439 people signed a petition against the scheme to bulldoze the empty building on Warley Road, North Shore, to make way for a modern single-storey unit.

But Blackpool Council’s planning committee approved the application after hearing it would bring investment to the area.

It is not yet known who will operate the store although there is speculation it could be Tesco.

Brian Ward, of North West Land and Properties Ltd which assembled the site for redevelopment, said: “At the moment it is not confirmed who will be the operator of the site but there is obvious interest and the site should hopefully be up and running in six to nine months’ time.

“It has got a 24-hour cash machine which is well illuminated, and it will be open from 6am to 11pm giving locals a chance for early or evening shopping if they work, so it will serve the community.

“There were objectors but hopefully they will see it as good for the area.

“We believe it will help to regenerate the area and give people a reason to stop and visit all the shops.”

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But traders, whose campaign was backed by Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard, fear the impact will be detrimental to other businesses including an existing convenience store.

Adrian Courtney-Massey, who runs Spartan Sunbeds on Dickson Road, said: “We are very disappointed with the decision.

“The design of the building actually takes people away from the shopping area because it encourages them to turn left down onto the Promenade and away from the shops.

“It won’t help any of the other shops, it will take customers away.”

But a report to the planning committee said: “The proposal will bring new development to the area, helping to regenerate it by creating jobs as well as bringing a vacant site back into use.”

The application was approved after being brought before the committee for a second time, after councillors deferred making a decision at their May meeting.

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