A large family who moved 300 miles to live on the Fylde coast now fear they will be kicked out after being told they are breaking zoning laws.
Kevin Bryant upped sticks from Barnstaple, in Devon, with his family after buying a disused B&B on Gynn Avenue, North Shore, for £95,000.
However, Kevin now fears they will lose everything after being told they must run the property as a hotel, not a place of residence, due to it being in a “holiday area”.
Kevin, 54, says he will go to jail before kicking out his relatives from the property, and has nowhere else to go as all his money is tied up in the building.
He said: “We bought it to turn it back into a family home, but since we’ve been here we’ve had the council chomping at us.
“My son’s girlfriend is four months’ pregnant, and I don’t really want to get out because all my money’s tied up in this.”
Mr Bryant said he was attracted to the resort by the cheaper cost of living.
As well as himself and his wife Karen, 49, are his 21-year-old twins Joe and Kayleigh, youngest son Charlie, 16, Joe’s pregnant 19-year-old girlfriend Emma Harrison; Kayleigh’s 26-year-old boyfriend Gary Richardson, Kayleigh’s son, also called Kevin, three, Kevin’s 25-year-old stepson Ben Edwards, his 55-year-old disabled brother Keith, and family friend Joshua Shaw, 18.
Blackpool Council have told them they have until December to begin running the house as a business or vacate.
Kevin, who is currently on a security course through the Job Centre, added: “I haven’t come up here to sponge and scrounge.
“We’re in real trouble because we can’t move until we sell it.
“I’d rather go to jail than have to take my family out on the streets.”
Coun Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for public safety and enforcement, said: “The holiday areas have been in place for many years in Blackpool, and are firmly established in local planning policy following lengthy public consultation.
“The policy is designed to prevent the conversion of former hotel and guesthouse accommodation to multiple occupancy houses (HMOs) which, as we all know, has been a significant problem in the town. We would advise anyone buying disused hotel and guesthouse accommodation to familiarise themselves with these rules, and understand them before making a purchase.
“We will seek to ensure the policy is complied with.”
Claire Smith, president of hotels group Stay Blackpool, says she can sympathise with the council’s policy.
She said: “In some areas mixed use works well.
“We lived on Dean Street and had mixed use there, and it worked well in that B&Bs were sold as private housing and they were tidied up.
“But we do have to protect our holiday areas because they have so little protection at the moment.”