Blackpool Airbnb conversion "will not be for stag and hens"

The former North Grange Hotel
The former North Grange Hotel
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A bid to convert a former Blackpool hotel into upmarket Airbnb accommodation has got the go ahead from town hall planners despite fears it could be used by stag and hen groups.

Northern Nights Ltd says it hopes to attract wealthy visitors following a full refurbishment of the property on Queens Promenade which previously traded as the North Grange Hotel.

The scheme will see the 16-bedroom property converted into eight bedrooms, three lounges, a kitchen/dining room and four bathrooms over five floors including the basement.

External alterations are also proposed to update the appearance of the building.

A number of objections were received from nearby residents who said they feared the property would be used by stag and hen groups which would attract anti-social behaviour.

But the applicants said the aim was to create high quality holiday accommodation.

A submission from Northern Nights accompanying the application says the investment will "transform a run down and partially derelict property subject to an enforcement notice.

"The renovation of this high profile, sea front property will have a positive impact on the entire neighbourhood."

It adds: "The guests attracted to large rentals often travel from within and outside the UK to visit families, and typically spend time (and money) in holiday destinations such as Blackpool with their extended families sharing a home and cooking facilities.

"We have researched this market carefully and have designed the house in line with their needs.

"In our experience, these guests are highly rated by neighbours. We have designed the house from the ground up to attract family guests, rather than the hens and stags that some residents are concerned about."

But objectors claimed the scheme was "more likely a method of achieving a low cost, hands-off management solution that would be a cheaper alternative to conventional hotel".

One objector said: "Unfortunately, this is likely to come with substantial cost to the local community of increased noise and anti-social behaviour including drug use, excessive drinking and congregating of large groups outside the residential properties."

Blackpool Council's planning committee approved the application.