Ma Kelly's describes planning refusal as 'unfair' to disabled customers using its Blackpool pub

Ma Kelly's Showboat
Ma Kelly's Showboat
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A Blackpool bar operator has branded the decision to refuse permission to install a disabled access ramp at his venue “ridiculous”.

The Ma Kelly’s chain has had another planning application knocked back by the council, this time involving its Showboat premises, formerly Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

READ MORE: Town hall planners demand the restoration of historic Blackpool pub building

The latest refusal saw the Queen’s Promenade venue denied permission to make a series of alterations, including a ramp.

It comes days after the operator, which owns several premises across the Fylde coast, was criticised by planners over alterations made to another of its bars, Champs, on Topping

Street.

On Friday, town hall planners rejected the latest application at Ma Kelly’s Showboat, saying it would have a “significantly detrimental impact on the amenities of people staying in the adjoining Elgin Hotel”.

But boss Paul Kelly said: “I have a lot of disabled customers who cannot access the public house.

“This is discriminating against my customers and I wish for everybody to be able to access Ma Kelly’s Showboat. I think it’s ridiculous”

Ma Kelly’s had applied to make alterations to the side of its Showboat bar, including installing a porch, ramp and steps to the south side of the building and relocating the fire escape.

Papers submitted to the council said the changes would “provide dedicated access for wheelchair users to the sports bar permanently and when the existing front entrance and ‘the Showboat’ are closed”.

But planners said the new entrance would be too close to the neighbouring hotel, adding that “the associated activity and disturbance, including noise” would be unacceptable.

The application had received a single objection, from the Elgin Hotel, which said there have been regular “issues with noise” that would be made worse by the

plans.

A letter to planners added: “I feel strongly that allowing an entrance-way to be created in the ginnel between the two properties (as proposed) would only give rise to a significant increase in further disturbances to our guests.”

In January, Blackpool Council’s planning committee turned down an application to build a single storey extension to form a sports bar at the venue after the Elgin Hotel objected on the grounds of noise.

Earlier this month, planners refused a retrospective planning application for a number of signs at another Ma Kelly’s venue.

They said the changes to Champs Bar on Topping Street, formerly Gillespies, were out of keeping with the character of the town centre conservation area.