Institute bid refused again

Plans to turn part of the Layton Institute into a supermarket and housing have been rejected.
Plans to turn part of the Layton Institute into a supermarket and housing have been rejected.
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An impassioned plea to “save” Layton Institute was rejected by planning bosses on the grounds of practicality.

Members of Blackpool Council’s planning committee queried where disabled access and adequate parking had been factored into developers’ plans to convert the famous venue into a supermarket and housing as well as accommodating the venue.

Feature on Layton.(Westcliffe Drive). Layton Institute.

Feature on Layton.(Westcliffe Drive). Layton Institute.

Developers have said a mix of use of the building on Westcliffe Drive, which is locally listed, is the best way to guarantee the future of a club which dates back 100 years and has hosted huge names.

But finding holes in the planning applications, which were also rejected back in April, councillors queried the practically of the project.

Appealing to the committee to approve the planning application, Tony Bowhill, of Bowhill Planning Partnership acting on behalf of the applicant, said: “I’m on a mission to rescue the Layton Institute.

“The premises are too large for the current usage and [look] tired, they need refurbishing and bringing up to standard.

“If the venue is to continue viably then some form of radical approach is required.”

Applicants Minotaur Group submitted a first proposal for alterations to allow for two new rear doors, provision of eight car parking spaces at the back and the use of the ground floor as a retail unit.

A second application was put in for five two-storey houses with associated car parking and access from Granby Avenue.

But members of the committee, chaired by Coun David Owen, queried the feasibility of parking access to a retail unit and questioned why nothing in the plan addressed how disabled access would be accommodated for those using the first floor venue.

Mr Bowhill replied: “We may have overlooked the disabled access, these details can be refined.

“We could look at adjusting [plans] to get more parking.”

Coun Adrian Hutton said: “There’s an awful lot of detail that hasn’t been thought out on this – car parking and disabled access.

“There’s too much missing.”

Both plans were refused.

After a decades-long heyday Layton struggles

After getting into financial difficulties the Layton Institute closed its doors in 2012. It re-opened later that year though after changing its usage from a members-only venue to a pub – The Layton. Previous applications to build homes on the bowling green behind the venue were thrown out as planning bosses had concerns over the loss of the community facilities.