Blackpool B&B owners raise parking and skyline concerns over new £30m hotel planning application

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Plans for a multi-million pound new hotel in Blackpool has caused consternation amongst local B&B owners, who are worried about parking and various other issues.

Bed and breakfast hotel owners in Blackpool have raised concerns over plans for a new £30m hotel in the town, voicing issues such as a lack of parking spaces and the imposing nature of the new building.

The planning application for the new hotel, set to be located on the site of the former St Chad’s Hotel on Blackpool Promenade, was submitted in late November and is awaiting approval by the council. Set to feature 143 rooms and ancillary facilities such as a lounge area, kitchen, restaurant and bars, guest luggage store, offices, and meeting rooms, the hotel’s building application was submitted by The Fragrance Group of Singapore.

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But local B&B owners have raised concerns about the lack of local parking spaces, claiming that there is already a paucity of parking which will only be exacerbated by the opening of a brand new, 143-room hotel.

“I’m not totally against any building work where St Chad’s was, I’m not,” said Stewart Norris, owner of the nearby Sutton Park Hotel. “I just have concerns over parking and the disruption of the build, all of which could be dealt with with a conversation. From what I’ve seen on the planning, they are going to allow 30 parking spaces to the rear of the building. As far as I can see, they’re allowing 143 rooms to be built; now if all those rooms have brought a car, that leaves a shortfall of 110 parking spaces. Where do these people park?

“We’ve got an extra two floors of inhabited rooms looking down on us, so it will be considerably higher and blot out a lot more of the sky [and have] quite an impact on us,” added Mr Norris, with the new hotel set to be much taller than the previous edifice, although occupying a smaller footprint. “I think they’re being inconsiderate.”

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Sandra Stringer, Blackpool Hoteliers’ Group administrator said: “The roads along the seafront are going to be adjacent to the hotel - they are the ones that are really going to suffer and they’re already suffering as it is because it’s such limited parking. If you’re a hotel with eight bedrooms, you’ve got to find eight spaces for your guests or send them to an alternative car park… [visitors] want to be near to the hotel they’re staying in.

“A lot of hotels don’t have the luxury of car parking, so they rely on their guests parking on the main road and, as it is, it’s a fight during the peak seasons to get a space,” added Mrs Stringer. “What people are worried about is that the new plans have got less parking that previously and, with even more rooms than before, the parking is going to become a major issue.

“For the people that are right close to St Chad’s, it’s going to have a massive effect on the amount of sunlight they get,” she continued. “And it’s the whole design; I think a lot of people are disappointed that the design is not in keeping with traditional Blackpool - it hasn’t got any real character.”

The planning application did state that the new development will take in the 'architecture of the local area and the former St Chad’s Hotel', with the front set to incorporate 'clear, strong vertical and horizontal lines', reducing its visual impact by breaking the block down into a series of smaller elements.

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