Go ahead for Blackpool rock shop to be converted to new town centre restaurant

Geoff and Margaret Race outside Blackwood's Rock last year
Geoff and Margaret Race outside Blackwood's Rock last year
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A former Blackpool rock shop is set for a new lease of life as a restaurant which it is claimed will help revitalise a town centre street.

Hotelier Tony Banks has been granted planning permission for the scheme to convert the former Blackwoods on Coronation Street which had traded for 75 years in the resort.

Geoff and Margaret Race at Blackwood's Rock last year

Geoff and Margaret Race at Blackwood's Rock last year

Mr Banks is also hoping to create an aparthotel in the upper floors of the three-storey building.

Documents submitted with the application say: "The proposal for the ground floor is to create a quality drinking establishment with full food menu offering.

"It is perfectly positioned, being located so closely to the Winter Gardens complex, directly opposite the HoundsHill Shopping Centre and having some 3,000 guest bedrooms in the surrounding holiday area.

"The applicant is a member of the Conference Centre Steering Group, who have highlighted the lack of restaurant and quality eateries in the town, also the lack of quality guest accommodation."

The report adds: "It will also benefit the surrounding area by bringing back to life a large depressing looking building and introducing a vibrancy to this part of Coronation Street."

One objection to the scheme was submitted by a resident of Coronation Street who said he feared the addition of licensed premises would attract anti-social behaviour including drug-dealing, drunkenness and litter.

But the council's planning chairman Coun David Owen ruled the area was appropriate for the change of use and the application was approved by planning officers using their delegated powers.

The rest of the building was previously occupied for 38 years by the Langley Dance Centre until it moved to new premises on Plymouth Road in Layton.

Mr Banks owns Blackpool Promotions, which operates mainly coach holidays, brings in more than 150,000 visitors a year to the resort.

He already owns six hotels in Blackpool including The Ruskin on Albert Road.

Blackwoods' owners Geoff and Margaret Race announced last year they were giving up the business.