Hoteliers’ plea to shut down ‘trouble magnet’ house

Hotels on Vance Road, Blackpoool.
Hotels on Vance Road, Blackpoool.
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Hoteliers today demanded action to close down a property which they say is proving a magnet for anti-social behaviour in Blackpool’s holiday heartland.

The police have attended 39 incidents at 25 Vance Road over the last six months, sparking calls for the premises to be shut down.

Business owners say they have been fighting for seven years for the authorities to close down the property, which advertises permanent flats for DSS claimants.

But the owner hit back, saying any issues with anti-social behaviour were dealt with. The premises is one of 11 properties owned by various landlords in streets including Coronation Street, Reads Avenue, Hull Road, Hornby Road and Charnley Road which have been highlighted as ‘problem properties’ by the Central Holiday Area PACT (police and community together).

PACT chairman Charlie Docherty said: “At our last meeting on Wednesday, the police told use there had been reports of 39 incidents over the last six months at 25 Vance Road and we were really hoping the council would take action to close it down because it is blighting the area, and impacting on the holiday trade.

“So members were furious when we were told nothing is being done. We have been fighting for seven years to get it closed.

“It is just one of a number of properties in the holiday area which are attracting anti-social behaviour and damaging tourism.”

Hoteliers say they have witnessed drug use, prostitution and indecent behaviour.

Steven Keates, of the Apollo Hotel on Vance Road, said: “People have been propositioned in the street and we see syringes which have come from rubbish bags left out.

“People feel despondent and let down by the council.”

Nigel Hissey, of Vance House Holiday Apartments, said: “Blackpool boasts about the number of attractions it has but then the council does nothing about this kind of behaviour.

“They say, why aren’t people coming back to Blackpool? But people are scared to come and sit around when they see things like this.”

Cliff Thompson, of the Canda Hotel on Vance Road, added: “This property is affecting us, but every street around here has a property creating similar problems.

“We appreciate some of the tenants are vulnerable and the council says they have a duty of care.

“But what about us? My wife can’t sleep at night because of the disturbances.”

Lionel Invine, of the Lymbar Hotel, said: “Some guests have said they were asked for money by someone who said if they didn’t pay, they wouldn’t let them down the street.

“This was at teatime, not late at night.”

In a statement to The Gazette, the landlord of 25 Vance Street said: “All anti-social behavour complaints are taken very seriously and are investigated and addressed in accordance with our in-house ASB procedures.

“As part of our ongoing property management we attend the properties several times each week and deal with any matters that arise.

“Neighbours are welcome to approach us during these visits.

“Additionally our contact number is clearly visible on the building and neighbours are welcome to contact us by phone if they have any concerns, however no concerns have been expressed.

“As part of our tenant management work and joint working with the council and police we became aware of one tenant who was causing some problems and as a consequence eviction proceedings were undertaken.

“Although we will continue to monitor the building, following the departure of this tenant, we are expecting the ASB issues at this building to now be settled.”

Council chiefs say they are aware of the problems.

Coun Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said: “We are well aware of the issues that have been raised about a property on Vance Road and the problems it is causing for the local community.

“We take anti-social behaviour extremely seriously and, as such, we are committed to addressing these issues and are working together with the police to solve them.”

Blackpool Police confirmed they had attended 39 incidents in the last six months.

Community beat manager PC Steve Jones said: “We are aware of the on-going issues relating to 25 Vance Road and are working with the council to resolve them.”