Blackpool Promenade water ride must come down

The log flume north of South Pier
The log flume north of South Pier
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A log flume ride must be removed from Blackpool Promenade after councillors refused planning permission for the attraction to remain there permanently.

Councillors said temporary permission for the ride to be installed north of South Pier for 18 months had only been granted to enable repair work to be done at its former location on the pier.

But this work had not been done and there was no further justification for the log flume to remain where it was.

Blackpool's planning committee was told the council's rules on where funfairs could be located were strict and retention of the ride "would conflict with the policy."

Blackpool Pleasure Beach also objected to the retention of the log flume, warning this could impact on its ability to invest in new rides.

Nick Laister, representing the park, said it would undermine "the viability of the Pleasure Beach by allowing permanent fairground rides to be located on the Promenade outside of an amusement park."

He added: "This is not an issue of one business competing with another."

But David Shepherd, representing the Blackpool Pier Company which is owned by the Sedgwick family, said the log flume operators were being told to remove their ride, while other attractions remained.

These included a go-kart attraction on council-owned land to the south of the pier.

Mr Shepherd told the meeting: "The council is getting rent from the go-karts while the applicant is struggling to make his land pay as any attraction requires planning permission.

"If the retention of the log flume conflicts with the policy, surely the go-karts do as well."

He added the Pleasure Beach was objecting on trade grounds, and said: "This is the same as McDonalds objecting to a family run burger bar.

"Blackpool Pleasure Beach is not the only leisure operator making a contribution to Blackpool's economy."

Planners said the go-karting attraction had been forced to move when the tram depot was built on its previous site.

Coun Adrian Hutton said the applicant had previously been granted an 18 month temporary permission on condition repairs to the pier were carried out.

He said: "I think they haven't repaired the end of the pier, but they have another attraction on the end of the pier.

"It appears when this temporary permission was granted, we weren't given the whole picture."