Hotels will make way for housing

Tyldesley Road, Blackpool.
Tyldesley Road, Blackpool.
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A block of former Blackpool B&Bs is a step closer to being demolished to make way for a £50m housing scheme set to transform a rundown area of the resort.

Only one hotel is still trading on the eastern side of Tyldesley Road while all the holiday accommodation on Blundell Street has now closed, with just a handful of residents 

Blackpool Council has bought up the hotels and is now poised to apply for a compulsory purchase order (CPO) in order to buy up the remaining properties so the block, also bounded by Princess Street and Rigby Road, can be cleared.

The council’s executive is being asked to agree to pursue a CPO when it meets on Monday.

Developer Hollinwood Homes has already begun work on the first phase of the scheme which will see 400 houses built on the Rigby Road site in total.

The former Illuminations Depot on Rigby Road, and the former gas holders on Blundell Street have previously been bulldozed as part of land clearance for the scheme.

Steve Matthews, head of housing at Blackpool Council, said: “We know we have too many redundant guest-houses and too much rented accommodation, Tyldesley Road has too much of that, but what we are getting in its place is really good quality housing.”

The council has already negotiated the purchase of many properties, but the CPO will enable it to acquire the site in full.

It is expected to take about 18 months for the order to go through, in time for phase three of the development.

The site assembly is being funded by the New Homes 
Bonus, which is a Government grant to encourage new house building, while the remedial works is being funded by the Homes and Communities Agency, with the work costing £12m in total.

The Crest Hotel is the last hotel trading on the eastern side of Tyldesley Road.

Owner Gary Telford said: “Everyone else has now gone, and we have also now reached agreement with the council.

“We are now looking forward to moving on and hope to open a guest house in another part of Blackpool.

“The last year has been difficult and we have had this hanging over us for about six years, so now we are going to start afresh.”

Three hotels are still trading on the west side of Tyldesley Road.

Michael Watson, of The Shores Hotel, said: “I think most of the hoteliers on the other side of the road were happy to sell up.

“We’re now looking forward to the investment being made but we hope the council will ensure the site is kept tidy while we wait for the houses to be built.”

Coun Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council cabinet member for housing, said: “The purpose of this report is to seek authorisation to pursue a Compulsory Purchase Order covering a number of properties near to the Rigby Road site.

“As everyone in the area knows, we are trying to bring about a change which will have a regenerative effect on South Shore and transform the whole area by building 400 quality new family homes which are badly needed in Blackpool.

“There is a problem in Blackpool with former hotels and guest-houses which have become HMOs.

“The Compulsory Purchase Order which will help us to do this, however, we have already negotiated agreements with two thirds of people living within the area and hope to come to agreements with the others in due course.”