'Black' hotel gets go ahead on Blackpool's Golden Mile
Plans for a five-star hotel on Blackpool Promenade have been given the nod by councillors after they were reassured over proposed changes to the colour scheme.
Blackpool Council's planning committee has now approved the £20m Sands Hotel on Central Promenade after rejecting the application at its last meeting in February.
Developers Cool Silk, which is owned by businessman Peter Swann, brought samples of the materials to the meeting after concerns were raised about the change of colour from mainly bronze to black.
It was felt this was out of keeping with the position of the scheme close to the Grade I listed Tower.
The approval is subject to final ratification by officers once the consultation period officially ends on March 11. Conditions will also be added including specifications around the materials to be used and highways issues.
Planning chairman Coun Lynn Williams said after the meeting: "The applicant provided samples of the materials which will be used, and explained the building will be 80 to 85 per cent glass.
"A lot of money will also be spent on lighting and signage so we are not going to have a solid black mass, which is what we had been concerned about.
"The lighting and signage will be subject to separate planning applications.
"This coupled with all the benefits the scheme will bring, not just the jobs in the museum but around 150 hotel jobs and quality training, meant on balance the committee felt the application should be approved.
"It will be our first five-star hotel and we are now looking forward to everything it will bring with it."
Work has already been done to dismantle the former Sands entertainment venue in readiness for the hotel which it is hoped will be open for the 2020 tourism season.
Developers say the decision to switch the colour scheme from the original palette of bronze, cream and green to black, silver and grey was because the windows of the mainly glazed building needed to be tinted for privacy and would match the black design better.
The building is also earmarked to house the Blackpool Museum, a project being spearheaded by the council, and is seen as a key component of the regeneration of the town centre.
The revised plans which have been approved also include the hotel being a storey lower than previously proposed with two new storeys added instead of three and 91 bedrooms instead of 96.
Plans for a basement car park with space for 55 vehicles were also dropped from the updated application. Agreement has been reached with the council to use 80 spaces at Chapel Street.
The resubmission also includes a themed bar.