Prom flats bid scaled back

Plans to redevelop hotels including The Kimberley (pictured) have been refused
Plans to redevelop hotels including The Kimberley (pictured) have been refused
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Plans to redevelop a rundown stretch of South Promenade in Blackpool go back before planners next week for the third time.

The £7m scheme to demolish the Kimberley, Waldorf and Henderson Hotels on Wimbourne Place has been scaled back further in the hope of securing planning permission.

An amended application has seen the number of proposed flats reduced from 99 to 91, a reduction in the length of the seventh floor by five metres, and to the sixth floor by 26 metres, and the removal of balconies from the majority of flats which would face Clifton Drive.

Council planning officers have recommended the development for approval when it goes before Blackpool’s planning committee on Tuesday.

The first bid to redevelop the site with 166 apartments was thrown out by the council in 2009 because the proposals did not include any holiday accommodation.

In May this year, an application for 99 apartments was rejected because councillors said the proposed 84 parking spaces were not enough and the development was over intensive.

Seven objections have been received to the amended plans from people living on Clifton Drive, as well as from the owner of the Ocean Bay Hotel on New South Promenade.

They say the the height and size of the building would still be too big and would impact on the privacy of residents, and concerns remain about the amount of car parking.

But in their report to the committee, planning officers say the regeneration benefits “in terms of replacing outmoded holiday accommodation with a new residential offer outweigh the deficiency in car parking provision” and “possible impact on neighbouring residents and hotels, and hence approval is recommended subject to a number of conditions.”

Planners also believe the area is well served with public transport and is in walking distance of local shops, mitigating the need for additional parking to be provided.

The area has been the target of vandalism and arson attacks following the closure of a number of hotels.

The Kimberley has been closed and boarded up since 2011, along with the neighbouring Warwick and Palm Beach hotels, with the latter having suffered extensive fire damage.

Demolition of the Warwick and Palm Beach is imminent.

Blackpool-based Create Development has planning permission for an £8.5m scheme to build a four-storey 130 bedroom hotel on the site of the vacant Palm Beach and Bourne Hotels, also on Wimbourne Place.

It is scheduled to become a Hamptons by Hilton hotel.