£7m seafront flats plan set for judgement day

Proposals to redevelop an area including the Kimberley Hotel are due back before planners
Proposals to redevelop an area including the Kimberley Hotel are due back before planners
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Plans for a £7m apartment block on South Promenade will go back before planners next week after councillors were unable to make a decision on the project last month.

Developers were asked to submit clearer and more detailed proposals amid claims by residents the scheme to demolish hotels on Bourne Crescent and replace them with 99 apartments was too high and would overshadow their homes.

The application is recommended for approval by Blackpool Council’s planning committee when it meets on Tuesday, but final planning permission would be delegated to the head of development control providing the project meets conditions.

These include the scheme, which would be between five and seven storeys high, must demonstrate it fits in with neighbouring properties including those fronting Clifton Drive.

A report to the committee says “the transition between the proposal and the remainder of the crescent needs to be better and less abrupt than shown on the submitted plans.

“Officers have also said that greater consideration needs to be given to the relationship with the hotel immediately to the north of the application site.

“These issues are as yet unresolved (amended plans are anticipated in time for the meeting on May 10) and hence at the time of writing this report, if the committee is minded to support the principle of the development, the application should be deferred to the head of development management to approve subject to the satisfactory resolution of these issues.”

The report adds the height of the development will “not be significantly different” to that of the 130-bedroom hotel set to replace the adjacent Palm Beach Hotel, while the balconies on the back of the property are considered to be far enough away from Clifton Drive homes to be “acceptable to safeguard the privacy of the occupiers”.

There has been a seven year fight to get permission to redevelop the Kimberley, Waldorf and Henderson Hotels.

Previous bids were refused because the site is within the designated holiday area, but the council has eased its stance.

The Palm Beach is set to be replaced with a Hampton by Hilton Hotel which will maintain some holiday accommodation in the area, meaning planners are content to allow residential development.

In recent years some of the properties on this stretch of the Promenade have suffered fire damage and vandalism prompting concern about the poor image this creates at one of the resort’s gateways.