Detailed designs for a multi-million pound five star hotel on Blackpool’s Golden Mile are earmarked to get the go ahead.
Planners warned the most important consideration was that the scheme to build a three-storey extension on top of the current Sands entertainment venue on Central Promenade did not detract from the setting of the Tower.
They are recommending Blackpool Council’s planning committee approves the application for the site, also known as the Palatine building, when it meets tomorrow.
A report to councillors says: “The building is in a very prominent location on the Golden Mile within 45 metres of Blackpool Tower, which is one of the most well-known landmark buildings in the country.”
They add the existing site is a “brutalist structure” which was built in the 1970s.
The report goes on: “Given that the Palatine building is in one of the most prominent positions on the seafront in Blackpool, the design of any new development of the scale proposed, in this location must be of the highest quality.”
The design will harmonise with the historic buildings and whilst being taller than both, would not over dominate them given the lightness of the elevations.
It adds: “The proposal reuses the existing building and over-clads it with glazed walls, broken up by projecting columns and external bracing, taking design cues from both the Woolworth building and the structure of Blackpool Tower in terms of design and materials.
“The design will harmonise with the historic buildings and whilst being taller than both, would not over dominate them given the lightness of the elevations.”
The main entrance to the proposed hotel would be on the south east corner of the building and would be accessed under a canopy which wraps around that corner.
There will be shops and a hotel reception on the ground floor, with hotel accommodation above comprising 96 en-suite bedrooms including a number overlooking a new glazed atrium.
The plans also include a basement car park for 55 cars and the demolition of the foot bridge over Bank Hey Street.
The pick-up and drop point for guests would be on Bank Hey Street resulting in the loss of taxi spaces on what is the busiest rank in Blackpool.
To make up for this, council highways chiefs they would consider reviewing taxi arrangements along the Promenade to “determine if there is scope to provide a facility in close proximity.”
The Sands is owned by businessman Peter Swann and currently operates as a popular live entertainment and dining venue.
The planning committee will meet at 6pm tomorrow at the town hall.