Council fears seafront plan could set worrying precedent

An artists impression of the development planned for Fleetwood Pier
An artists impression of the development planned for Fleetwood Pier
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The number of objectors against plans to build flats on the former Fleetwood Pier site has mushroomed to over 140 in just a few weeks.

Simmo Developments has lodged plans with Wyre Council to build the £3.5m three-storey scheme on the former Fleetwood Pier site.

If permission is given for these flats, if can only encourage others

The consortium, headed by businessman Mike Simmons, says the ultra modern scheme will create vital jobs in the town and “enhance the character and appearance of the area.”

But a large number of residents – 141 by Monday teatime – are objecting to the plans and have brandd the proposed building an eyesore and a flood risk.

Now Fleetwood Town Council has launched its own objection to the scheme.

The town council fears a precedent will be set for other developers to build on the beach side of Fleetwood seafront if Wyre gives the plans the go ahead.

Coun Mike Barrowclough, vice chairman of Fleetwood Town Council, said: “Our fear is that this could open the floodgates for development

“If permission is given for these flats, if can only encourage others. As a council, we are standing up for the people of Fleetwood who have made it clear they do not want to see any kind of building on our unspoilt seafront, which has lovely view over Morecambe Bay.”

With its ultra-modern designs featuring curved glass, Simmo says the apartments will lift what is now a “neglected part of town”.

The apartments, aimed at the over-55s, will also “help meet the growing meed for such accommodation in Wyre reflected in the borough’s Local Plan”.

But although the scheme is admired by some, many others are raising concerns.

Simmo Developments received planning permission by Wyre Council to build an 18-bed hotel on the pier site back in June 2013.

Instead, the project being proposed is for the sea-view apartments, comprising underground parking for 17 vehicles and opportunities for retail space – and the construction of a new pier to allow for a bigger building.

Mr Simmons bought the pier building for £500,000 but it burnt down in 2008, and since then he has been keen to develop the land, which he is leasing from Wyre Council,

Fleetwood Town Council says it has a raft of reasons to object to the scheme, including visual amenity, the effect on a conservation area, risk of flooding and loss of privacy for near neighbours, as the scheme is much taller than the original pier building.

Simmo Estates says there is a very low flood risk for the development and that the flats will provide vital housing.