Blackpool hotel plan rejected in row over colour

The revised scheme for the Sands venue with black cladding
The revised scheme for the Sands venue with black cladding
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Revised proposals for a £20m luxury hotel on Blackpool's Golden Mile have been thrown out after councillors and developers failed to reach agreement over the colour scheme.

It had been hoped the redevelopment of the former Sands entertainment venue would deliver Blackpool's first five star hotel in time for the 2020 tourist season.

The original design for the hotel at the Sands venue

The original design for the hotel at the Sands venue

But developer Cool Silk, owned by businessman Peter Swann, refused to compromise on using black cladding and tinted windows which town hall planners said was a poor design for such a prominent position close to Blackpool Tower.

The resort's planning committee voted to refuse the application at its meeting last night. ((TUESDAY))

Marcus Walker, representing Cool Silk, said refusal would set the scheme back a year because the applicant expected to appeal the decision.

He told the meeting 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.

Mr Swann was unable to attend the meeting due to commitments with Scunthorpe Football Club which he owns.

But in a statement read to the committee, he said he wanted to build a five star hotel which would create 150 jobs in Blackpool.

He said: "Why should Manchester have a better hotel than us? We want the stars to stay here and we want to create 150 direct jobs and invest in local people."

Committee chairman Coun Lynn Williams suggested deferring the item in order to see if a compromise could be reached on the colour scheme.

But Mr Walker said any delay would still put the scheme back a year.

Coun Peter Hunter said: "It is something we would like to approve but frankly an overwhelmingly black building looks absolutely hideous.

"I would like to approve this plan but we have an impasse."

Work has already been completed to dismantle most of the former Sands complex after the original planning application was approved two years ago.

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.

Revised plans were submitted in December including for the hotel to be 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.