Fight for South Shore flat block first proposed 14 years ago continues as fresh plans submitted to Blackpool Council

Huge and controversial plans to flatten three ‘eyesore’ hotels on South Promenade and replace them with a block of flats have been brought to Blackpool Council once again.

By Wes Holmes
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 4:55 am

The multi-million pound plan to demolish the Kimberley, Waldorf and Henderson Hotels dates back all the way to 2008, and has been the subject of heated debate over the years.

Blackpool Council’s planning committee refused to approve the scheme on three separate occasions. In 2016, when developers wanted the proposed five to seven-storey flat block to contain 99 modern apartments, they ruled the proposed 84 parking spaces were not enough, and would negatively impact people living in the area.

Nearby residents repeatedly objected to the proposals, saying the height of the building would leave their properties overshadowed.

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Artist's impression of the proposed flat block submitted to Blackpool Council

However, revised plans cutting the number of apartments from 99 to 88 and increasing parking to one space per flat were unanimously approved by councillors in May 2017, bringing nine years of arguments to an apparent end.

Now the debate is set to continue, as NSP Propery Ltd has submitted a fresh planning application reducing the number of apartments further, from 88 to 63, as the larger project was deemed to be unviable.

A statement submitted to the council by Dave Shepherd of St Annes-based Shepherd Planning said: “The site is the site of the three following hotels... The Waldorf, The Henderson and The Kimberley. This site has been an eyesore for a number of years since the closure of two of the hotels, and the closure of the third is imminent. The dereliction causes visual harm to the area and to its remaining inhabitants.”

He added: “Two (of the hotels) have ceased trading a number of years ago and the third is in imminent danger of closing due to poor occupancy rates and a generally unattractive setting for hotel residents to stay in. The terrace of buildings itself has fallen into a state of dereliction and are visually detrimental to the area.”

If approved, the new block will contain 58 two-bedroom flats, four three-bedrooms, and one four-bedroom.

Accessible entrance to tbe building will be provided from the rear, and there will be lift access to the upper floors. A car park with disabled and general spaces, a cycle parking area, and electric charging points will be installed behind the building, with enough spaces to cover all apartments.

Mr Shepherd said: “The application proposal is in a sustainable and accessible location... Whilst not housing aimed at any specific group, it is suitable for elderly people and some people suffering from a disability.

“The site’s location offers a very realistic alternative to the use of the motor car. It is near to public transport routes, near to schools, shops, and other urban facilities, and would allow walking and cycling as alternatives to the use of the motor car.”

A new flood risk assessment, carried out in line with the new planning application, found the development was at a low flood risk from all flood sources except tidal, where the risk varied from low to medium.

Meanwhile, a transport statement found that the site ‘should not have a material impact in terms of highway operation and safety’, adding: “In fact, the evidence would suggest that safe and suitable access to the site can be achieved for all users."

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