College for embalmers and to train mortuary staff has been given the go ahead for a site in Blackpool

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A bid to convert a former beauty salon into a training centre for embalming skills has got the go ahead after a previous site was unanimously rejected.

A prior application by Andrew Floyd to use a former warehouse in Cornwall Avenue, North Shore, as a mortuary science college was refused by Blackpool Council’s planning committee after prompting an outcry from residents.

But a new application to convert premises on Caunce Street, formerly used as a beauty salon, has been approved by town hall planners using their delegated powers.

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There were no objections to the scheme which will see students learn embalming skills.

The site given the go ahead for the mortuary college (picture from Google)The site given the go ahead for the mortuary college (picture from Google)
The site given the go ahead for the mortuary college (picture from Google)

Proposals drawn up by Joseph Boniface Architects Ltd for 84 – 86 Caunce Street will see the creation of an educational training facility on two floors.

Mr Floyd wants to use the site for the La Calavera College, a private funeral service and mortuary science college, to meet demand for its services.

A design statement accompanying the application says the site is suitable due to its closeness to Blackpool Victoria Hospital and the college’s existing premises on Raikes Parade.

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It adds the college “will serve as a first of its kind private mortuary facility servicing funeral directors across Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde.”

Documents say there are 19 funeral providers across Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde and currently only four qualified embalmers.

New regulations mean in future there will be “an increased need for professional and transparent service provision as well as a push towards professional qualification in the fields of funeral directing and embalming.”

A council report setting out the decision says: “The use proposed is particularly unusual and not one that is regularly found in any location.

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“However, given the sensitive nature of the use it is considered that it will be low key and discrete.”

Planners say the site is appropriate as it is alongside other commercial uses, rather than close to residential properties which had “generated asignificant level of objection”.

Councillors voted unanimously against the Cornwall Avenue proposal at a meeting of the planning committee in September 2022.

Coun Michele Scott, representing 26 residents who had objected, told the meeting the location was set within a row of terraced houses, with children living nearby and would have a negative impact on the area.