Apartments plan which previously attracted over 30 objections is resurrected for former Blackpool job centre

Proposals to convert Blackpool's former job centre into flats are back on the table after the scheme previously failed to win planning permission.

By Shelagh Parkinson
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 9:47 am

A fresh application to use the empty building on Queen Street for 25 one and two-bedroom apartments over three floors has been submitted to Blackpool Council.

A previous application was thrown out in November 2020, but the latest submission says amendments to permitted development rights mean permission should now be granted.

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Former Job Centre on Queen Street

The applicant says changes to planning regulations were introduced in 2021 which now mean the job centre should be considered as suitable for conversion to flats.

A noise assessment has also been carried out after objections to the proposed conversion were previously made on the grounds it was too close to late night bars including The Galleon Bar on Abingdon Street.

Galleon Bar owner Stephen Pierre had warned his business could be put at risk if residents of the flats subsequently complained about noise from the nightspot which has a 4am licence.

More than 30 objections were submitted in response to the original planning application.

But the noise assessment says measures relating to ventilation and the installation of appropriate glazing can be taken to protect residents.

The conversion would also include parking for up to 12 vehicles and a cycle store.

The Queen Street Job Centre closed in 2018 when staff moved into new offices at the Town Hall.

At one time the council considered buying the building to create a new base for its Children’s Services department but the deal fell through.

Meanwhile the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) has recently taken over the former Argos store on Albert Road to provide more office space for its Job Centre staff in order to meet demand for additional capacity.

In March a spokesperson for the DWP said there was a need to “temporarily expand the space available in locations where we anticipate an increase in demand.”

They added: “The department has sought former retail and office properties, in major centres, that meet the planning requirements for a job centre with public access, good transport links and fully accessible for both colleagues and customers. ”

Hoteliers had argued the site was not suitable for the proposed use because it was too close to the holiday area.