Blackpool's seafront Terrace Bar saved from closure - for now at least

A busy seafront bar in Blackpool has won a reprieve for the timebeing after councillors held off from taking action to close it down.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 11:06 am
Updated Thursday, 5th August 2021, 11:08 am
The Terrace Bar

The council’s planning committee had been recommended to refuse permission for the Terrace Bar, alongside Central Pier, which has been trading for four years.

A meeting of the committee was warned all three of Blackpool’s piers would suffer if the bar was forced to shut because it generated vital revenue for repairs.

Planning permission had been sought retrospectively after it emerged in May this year the Terrace Bar was operating without approval.

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But after hearing a 28 page report had been submitted by the applicant’s barrister, the committee said it needed more time to consider the evidence before it.

Members voted to defer the application which is now set to come back before councillors in October by the earliest.

Agent Chris Weetman, representing the piers which are owned by the Sedgwick family, challenged claims the bar contravened policy because it was not a tourist attraction.

He added it created important revenue which had helped the recovery of Central Pier following a fire in July 2020 which ripped through a workshop and the waltzers ride.

Mr Weetman said: “This isn’t a town centre use, but a very specific type of bar. It is an open air, seafront bar designed to capture the outdoor seafront experience.

“It is there to serve the piers – it is there to bring finance back to the piers.

“The fire, Covid, the closure of the piers has seriously damaged the finances of the company.

“This bar alone provides 47 per cent of all the bar income from all three piers.

“Without it there would be job losses, without it the company could not generate enough income to carry out repairs on all three piers including the more important listed North Pier.”

A report to the committee had said the bar’s location contravenes council policy because the area west of the tram tracks is reserved for “public realm improvements such as sea defences, transport improvements, landscaping, public amenities and ancillary small-scale retail outlets.”

The council’s heritage officer had also objected saying the bar “undermines the setting of the pier by obscuring the view of the historic substructure and the sea.”

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