Flats plan for derelict hotel

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A derelict seafront hotel could be set for a new lease of life as apartments.

Plans have been lodged with Blackpool Council seeking permission to convert the former New Progress Hotel on New South Promenade into 13 permanent flats.

The premises have been closed for around a decade, and in 2005 were raided by police who uncovered a cannabis factory.

But now locally-based developer Ron Richardson has submitted plans to the council to restore the building, made up of two bay-fronted properties, and use it for homes.

A design and access statement accompanying the application says: “The properties have four floors of accommodation and form the New Progress Hotel, although they have not been used as a hotel for some years and have stood vacant and boarded up.”

It adds: “Although having been marketed by local and national agencies for many years, there has been little interest shown and they have been slowly deteriorating, to a point where the internal accommodation is completely uninhabitable.”

It is proposed to convert the building to 10 two-bedroomed flats, a three-bedroom penthouse suite and two maisonettes.

The plans have been welcomed in the area.

Chrissy Parker, senior carer at Feng Shui House residential and dementia care home on New South Promenade, said: “I think everybody would be in full support of the development.

“Everyone who walks past thinks it is an eyesore, and I think something like this would make the whole area look a lot better.”

Coun Douglas Green, whose Squires Gate ward includes the application site, said: “We wish there were more active hotels in Blackpool, but without development of sites like this, then Blackpool is going to look more and more shabby.

“So alternative developments can be beneficial.

“My only concern is parking, and I think there would need to be facilities for at least one car per flat.”

The application says there would be five parking spaces provided, but adds the “substantial investment” proposed “far outweighs the lack of provision of off-street parking.”

The site is close to Bourne Crescent, where Blackpool Council has acted to board up and paint disused hotels, including The Kimberley, amid calls for new investment.