Go-ahead set for Yates site revamp

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Planners look set to approve proposals for a £10m new hotel and restaurant in the heart of Blackpool.

Leisure giant Whitbread revealed last November it wanted to build a 150-bedroom Premier Inn on the site of the former Yates’s pub in Talbot Square.

The scheme will also include a Beefeater pub restaurant on the ground floor.

If it gets the go-ahead, the new hotel is expected to open in mid to late 2017 and will create around 70 jobs.

Councillors are being recommended to approve the application when the town’s planning committee meets on Monday April 13.

Nick Johnston, Acquisition Manager, North West, Wales and Ireland for Premier Inn, said: “It’s great news we have an important application going to the planning committee on April 13 with a recommendation for approval.

“All being well, it will mean Premier Inn can invest more than £10m into the scheme and bring approximately 70 new, year-round jobs to the town.

“It’s a great opportunity to give the green light to another significant regeneration scheme for Blackpool and we’re keen to work with our development partner to make it happen.”

The application has been submitted by the Shlomo Memorial Fund Ltd, a London based investment company.

The proposals have been slightly revised, with the height of the building reduced by two metres, while the art-deco style clock tower will now feature a wrought iron balcony at first floor level to create more of a focal point.

But planners say the six-storey, three sided building will be a welcome investment on the site which has been vacant since Yates’s burned down in February 2009.

A report to the committee says the scheme “represents a good opportunity to bring this disused site, which has been vacant for six years, back into beneficial use further helping to regenerate the town centre and adding additional quality to both the restaurant and hotel offer available within the town.”

The site already has planning permission for a two-
storey development which was to have included a Tesco Express on the ground floor and an Asian eaterie on the first floor. But there was dismay a food store was proposed for such an historic site.

Building firm Reco Build began work on the land in September 2013 but construction was halted, and it emerged in February last year talks were being held about the possibility of a hotel development instead.

The historic Yates’s building was destroyed in a fire which caused £20m of damage and wrecked a number of businesses on February 15, 2009.