Blackpool bingo plan could lose out

The Swift Hound pub which could make way for a new bingo hall
The Swift Hound pub which could make way for a new bingo hall
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Plans to demolish a Blackpool pub and replace it with a bingo hall look set to be thrown out because the site is not in the town centre.

Plans to demolish a Blackpool pub and replace it with a bingo hall look set to be thrown out because the site is not in the town centre.

Councillors are being recommended to refuse the application to redevelop the site of the Swift Hound pub at the Festival Retail Park on Rigby Road.

The £6.8m project would see the pub replaced with a Club 3000 Bingo and a drive-through restaurant.

But the application fails to meet planning policy designed to safeguard the prosperity of the town centre.

A report to Blackpool Council's planning committee says while the scheme represents "significant inward investment into the town", this must be "weighed against the scheme's failure to satisfy the sequential test."

It adds in future town centres must offer a more mixed offer combining retail, leisure, food and drink.

The report says: "Blackpool is in a unique position to capitalise on its existing tourism appeal and strong leisure offer.

"It is therefore imperative to ensure that all new main town centre uses, including leisure proposals, are located in strict accordance with the 'town centre first' objectives of the sequential test. "

The retail park is already home to an Odeon cinema, a Bannatyne’s gym, a McDonald’s with drive-through, and Frankie & Benny’s Italian-American diner.

If councillors do approve the bingo scheme, it would create 55 full-time jobs.

The applicant says it has considered other sites in the town centre including the former BHS store in Church Street and the former Post Office buildings on Abingdon Street but both were deemed unsuitable.

Councillors will consider the application when they meet at the town hall on Wednesday.