Flats bid for ‘party’ street

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Plans to convert town centre offices to flats are back on the cards after being thrown out earlier this year.

A bid to create 31 one-bedroomed homes in Blackpool’s Queen Street was rejected in July because it was deemed unsuitable for the area.

Blackpool Councillor 'Coun Ivan Taylor

Blackpool Councillor 'Coun Ivan Taylor

But now the Queen Street Union Trust has lodged fresh proposals, this time for 21 apartments of which 14 would have two bedrooms, while the remaining seven would have a single bedroom.

If it goes ahead, the project would see four floors of Forsyth House altered, but the Litten Tree pub would remain where it is.

The proposals have been submitted under new planning rules introduced by the Government which mean the council could only refuse the application on transport grounds, contamination risk or flooding risk.

Documents accompanying the application say the new scheme will provide sustainable housing served by good transport links and facilities.

James MacPherson, of Manchester-based consultants Peter Brett Associates, says in a letter to the council: “The proposed development would provide 21 residential apartments over the first three floors, and would provide an entrance, bin store and bike store for the apartments in place of the office space at ground level.

“In total, the proposed residential use would replace 2,615 square metres of office space.

“It should be noted that the existing public house would remain the same and would continue to operate as this use.”

He adds: “While the development would not provide any car parking provision, it has been demonstrated the site is in a highly sustainable town centre location which has a number of key facilities within a reasonable walking distance.”

Following the first application for the site, Coun Ivan Taylor, ward councillor for Claremont which includes the site, was among those who raised concerns about the scheme.

He said the area, which is a hub for pubs and entertainment venues, was not the appropriate place for housing.

The latest proposals are expected to go before a future meeting of the council’s planning committee for consideration.