Blackpool TV hotel among properties to be converted to homes
Two former hotels - including one which featured on national TV - look set for a new lease of life as part of an ongoing drive to convert failed holiday accommodation into new homes.
The Blackpool Housing Company, a council-owned company set up to regenerate empty properties, has secured planning permission to transform the former Victoria and Sparkles hotels on Station Road in South Shore.
The Sparkles Hotel appeared on Channel 5's 'Hotel Inspector' programme in 2006 when presenter Ruth Watson criticised the standard of accommodation in the resort.
Neither Sparkles or the Victoria, both four storey hotels with an additional basement and boasting 32 bedrooms between them, has traded for several years.
Now they are to be converted into nine flats (two one-bedroom flats and seven two-bedroom flats) and two maisonettes.
Town planners said the properties were "currently in a poor condition" but are outside the protected holiday zone so were able to be converted to residential accommodation.
A design brief accompanying the application says "there is no prospect of these properties being brought back into guest house use and viable alternatives other than a residential use do not exist."
It adds the conversion will "involve significant investment in the fabric of the properties".
David Galvin, managing director of the Blackpool Housing Company, said: “We are excited to be starting soon on the conversion project at Station Road.
"These are two large former hotels that have not traded and stood empty over recent years, they are in poor condition.
"Our investment will bring benefit to the local area by renovating the buildings and turning them into high quality new homes.”
The Blackpool Housing Company has been set up by the council to purchase defunct former guesthouses and convert them to good quality homes in a bid to break the cycle of properties declining into squalid bedsits.
It is part way through a £26m 10-year improvement programme.
Early this year the company completed the refurbishment of the former Malibu and Astoria hotels on Albert Road to create 20 apartments.