Film into demise of much-loved building

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A TELEVISION director has created a short film about the demise of a much-loved Blackpool building.

Steve Peet, who grew up in Fir Grove, Blackpool, has put together a short video featuring Marton Library on Waterloo Road.

The historic site was controversially sold off by Blackpool Council in 2004, but despite planning permission for residential development, it has remained derelict.

Mr Peet, 43, who now lives in Bristol, said he was so distraught about the state of the building where he learned to read he felt compelled to document it on celluloid.

He said: “Having been born and bred in Blackpool, I was aghast to find a visit to my native haunts should leave me so sad about the building where I spent many happy hours as a child.

“I learned to read in Marton Branch Library, it was an important part of the community, but looking at the place now, it seems to be close to crumbling or more likely, demolition.

“I felt so strongly about this I made a short film, it was my way of getting my message across. I just wish I had enough money to purchase the building when it went to auction, it has just been left to rot and has taken local spirit away.”

John Rochford who owns the site has permission to convert the eye-catching building into two maisonettes and three self-contained flats.

When the scheme was given the go ahead in May, planners imposed a condition saying work should begin within six months because of concerns about the condition of the site. But at a recent meeting of town hall planners, the owner applied for a 12-month extension saying there were problems securing funding.

Councillors agreed a time limit of just one year – saying work must be done to clean up the site.

Mr Pete said: “I am not against the development of the site, I have read the proposals and it seems he hopes to protect the essence of the building.”