Work has begun to demolish four properties on Leopold Grove in Blackpool and is due to take eight weeks to complete.
Planning permission for the terrace to be bulldozed was granted in April of this year.
The delapidated properties have fallen into a state of disrepair. They were purchased last year by Blackpool Council as part of the long-term strategy for the Winter Gardens. The council agreed to borrow £557,000 over 50 years which will be paid using income generated from the site. They said the deal made sense because the councl could borrow at low interest rates, and bolster its own revenue.
The properties are derelict former solicitor’s offices which have been empty for a number of years. There has been concern the eyesore detracts from the Winter Gardens which is currently enjoying investment including a £25m new conference centre.
There is planning permission in place for a five to six storey 156 bedroom hotel between Adelaide Street, Leopold Grove and Alfred Street which could serve the Winter Gardens. The site is currently being used as a pay and display car park, but it is hoped construction of the new conference centre will trigger the hotel development. As well as the conference centre, proposals are also in the pipeline for a Lottery0funded museum inside the Winter Gardens complex.
A report to councillors says: “After demolition, the cleared site could be used as a site compound during the build phase of the conference centre and Blackpool museum, for parking of goods vehicles supporting shows and for pay and display car parking for the town centre.”