Controversial proposals to demolish Vintro Lounge building near Blackpool Winter Gardens back before planners

Controversial plans to demolish buildings opposite the Winter Gardens are to be heard at next week, despite a new restaurant opening up at the site less than a month ago.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 3:43 pm
Updated Monday, 5th July 2021, 12:50 pm

The proposals are to build a block of flats close to the entertainment complex in St John’s Square, Blackpool.

However the existing buildings, including the Vintro Lounge restaurant which opened on June 10, would be razed if plans are given the green light by officials.

Plans for the project were scaled back earlier this year after developers were told the original scheme was too high.

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Proposals to demolish the recently opened Vintro Lounge building are being considered next week

Applicant Daniel Berko revised his proposals following talks with town hall planners who said build up to seven storeys tall was not appropriate for the area. New plans were submitted for up to five storeys of development.

If it gets the go ahead, the project could see the current three storey building anchored by Vintro Lounge bulldozed.

However a spokesman for the restaurant said a 15-year lease had been signed on the building and that 'certainly cannot be demolished' with the restaurant operating from the site.

The spokesman added: "Even if the plans are approved by the planners, they could not be implemented."

Plans of how the building could look if plans are approved

The original scheme, which was lodged 12 months ago, had already reduced the size of the apartment block from a top height of nine storeys, to seven and proposed 29 flats.

But the revised application is for a three to five storey building on the corner of Church Street and Abingdon Street containing 19 flats, with shops, a restaurant and a betting shop on the ground floor.

The plans have been met with opposition in the resort.

Blackpool Civic Trust said it has continually called for the plans to be scrapped after they were first announced more than 18 months ago.

The original proposal for a seven storey building was scrapped

A spokesman for the trust said: "We submitted comments regarding a previous application for this location and our objections are all still relevant as the proposed site sits within the conservation area and if developed will impose too greatly on the St Johns Square conservation area by the height and density of building.

"Planning permission should be once again refused as it is totally out with the permitted developments in this location."

Also in the officer's report to the committee ahead of the meeting next week, an objection to the plans was listed from the occupier of 80-82 Church Street, which is used as the HIVE coffee shop and bistro.

The objection states that 'the brutalist design and materials are not in keeping with the Winter Gardens' and the proposed flats 'may not be the answer to revitalise the town' citing the 'significant number' of empty retail units with potential accommodation above them.

The objection also said that due to the area being pedestrianised, safety, parking and servicing the flats would be 'difficult' and that the development would have a 'significant impact' on the character of St Johns Square.

The future of the buildings will now go before town hall planners at a committee meeting on Tuesday.