Project update

An artists impression of the Premier Inn proposed for the Yates' site in Blackpool
An artists impression of the Premier Inn proposed for the Yates' site in Blackpool
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What’s happening?

Planning permission was granted in 2015 for a 150-bedroomed hotel on the vacant Yates’s site in Talbot Square. The £7m six storey scheme by Premier Inn also includes a Brewers Fayre restaurant on the ground floor. 
Revised plans had been submitted including reducing the height of the building and re-introducing a first floor wrought iron balcony facing Talbot Square, after initial proposals were rejected by the planning committee . 
The site has been vacant since Yates’s Wine Lodge was demolished following a devastating fire in February 2009.

When will it start?

Originally it was hoped work would begin last year, but development has stalled. However it was revealed at a meeting of the full council on Wednesday that developers have now gone out to tender in order to appoint a construction partner to start work on the site. 
Premier Inn has now confirmed the tender process is complete and the company is finalising a contract award with the preferred contractor.
Legal agreements are in the process of being completed with respect to road changes. A spokesman said: “Both the client and Whitbread are very keen to start on site with the construction works as soon as possible.”

Why is it important?

The site is within a conservation area opposite North Pier and is considered to be a key location in the town.

Reaction
Coun Maxine Callow raised concerns about the lack of progress at full council. 
She said: “It is a conservation area and it looks dreadful”, and added it was “worrying her greatly”.
She told the meeting: “We have tatty hoardings and fly posters and it is a prime location.”
Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said he “shared her concerns” but added “developers have gone out to tender for someone to start work on this site”.