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£8m pier plans need to be more ‘inspiring’

An artists impression of how the new South Pier entrance could look.

An artists impression of how the new South Pier entrance could look.

Plans for an £8m upgrade to Blackpool’s famous South Pier have been approved.

Members of Blackpool Council’s planning committee backed the proposal for a new pier head building – then urged developers to rethink the “uninspiring” design.

The plans would see the existing pier head demolished and replaced with a new 45,000 sq ft indoor family centre housing an amusement 
arcade, cafe, children’s play area, bowling alley, pool room and bar.

Committee chairman Coun David Owen told the meeting: “The actual approach just looks a little bit uninspiring.

“I hope there will be a fair amount of consultation and they (the developers) will take advice on what we have to say.

“The principle of the design is satisfactory, it’s a major feature on our Promenade and so I think we’re entitled to say, ‘try and impress us’.”

The scheme, which has been devised by the pier’s owners Six Piers Ltd, would see around £8m injected into the attraction.

It was first put forward three years ago when it was granted planning permission, but the approval was never acted upon.

Speaking after the meeting, Coun Owen explained: “The sketch and drawings that we’ve seen are not terribly exciting as regards the entrance of the building.

“We do hope the developers will bear that in mind.”

Michael Williams, operations director at Six Piers, which owns the pier, said: “We’re obviously pleased the planning application has gone through.

“We will work with Blackpool Council obviously if there are any tweaks to be made.”

Additional land at either side of the pier, created as part of the new Promenade headlands, will be utilised.

The fairground rides and concessions on the pier would continue to operate.

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