B&Bs to family homes...

Project manager Kenji Shermer
Project manager Kenji Shermer
Have your say

FROM rundown guesthouse to a modern family home, this property is a glimpse into the future of a new residential village in South Shore.

Regeneration chiefs have invested around £130,000 upgrading the former eight-bed Sunnyside Guesthouse on Crystal Road, Blackpool.

Completion of the first conversion of a guest house on Crystal Road to a residential home

Completion of the first conversion of a guest house on Crystal Road to a residential home

The property will now act as a show home to demonstrate the conversion potential of hundreds of guesthouses no longer viable as holiday accommodation.

Councillors this week agreed a new planning framework which means around 900 hotels will no longer be in the traditional holiday zones.

It is estimated Blackpool needs to shed around 14,000 bed spaces to tackle over-capacity in tourist accommodation.

There were fears without intervention, failing guesthouses were at risk of becoming houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) rather than the family homes the resort desperately needs.

A total of 19 properties are being converted to family homes as part of the £1.3m first phase of the guest house conversion scheme but around £7m is being spent in total in the next few years on transforming South Beach into an attractive residential area.

Workers have removed roof lifts, demolished outbuildings to create a back garden and given the property at 44 Crystal Road a top quality makeover including contemporary kitchen and bathroom.

The house also boasts an en suite bathroom, underfloor heating, self-cleaning windows and is fully insulated.

A large open-plan kitchen opens out onto the garden.

Project manager Kenji Shermer said: “The overall aim is to change people’s perceptions about this area and illustrate just what can be achieved with these kind of properties.

“We want to encourage investment and encourage families back to live here.

“This is the show home to demonstrate just what can be done.

“There is a critical mass of properties which need to be changed and that is what we are working towards.”

On Crystal Road nine former guest houses are being turned in to three and four bedroom homes with a total of 19 being converted across the area by the middle of next year.

The funding has come from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), Great Places Housing Association and the council.

There was controversy when it emerged the council had sold the 18 properties to Great Places for £3 after they were purchased using £2.7m of Government grants.

But the council could not afford to do all the work so sold them on to ensure affordable homes were created.