Update on plans to replace 'eyesore' building on Waterloo Road with new holiday apartments

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The site has fallen into neglect after being empty for several years

Revised plans for a derelict building in South Shore could see holiday apartments and shops built on the site branded an 'eyesore'.

Developers are seeking planning permission to demolish the former Hartes store on the corner of Bond Street and Waterloo Road and replace it with a block of 23 holiday apartments, with retail units on the ground floor and parking for 30 cars.

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Artist's impression of the proposed holiday apartments (picture from Groves Town Planning)Artist's impression of the proposed holiday apartments (picture from Groves Town Planning)
Artist's impression of the proposed holiday apartments (picture from Groves Town Planning)

Updated documents submitted with the application set out management plans for the accommodation which would primarily be for holiday-makers but also offer "longer terms for those possibly engaged in work across the peak weeks of the visitor season".

Documents add: "The site is ideally located and designed to provide the modern, family accommodation which supports Blackpool’s ambitions to broaden its tourism offer and target families as part of the drive to secure social and economic benefit from the visitor economy."

The building, which was also previously a Woolworths store and is locally listed, has become increasingly derelict following the closure of Hartes in 2019. A planning application to replace it with a car park was refused by the council and turned down on appeal in 2022. An independent planning inspector ruled a car park was not the right development, but said demolition was the only option for the building.

The building is in a poor state of neglectThe building is in a poor state of neglect
The building is in a poor state of neglect

Waterloo ward councillor Diane Mitchell has called for the council to work with potential developers to bring investment to the site after recently warning action "is imperative before what remains collapses." She warned a meeting of the full council the building was "a complete eyesore".

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The current application, submitted by Groves Town Planning, says: "The investment derived from the implementation of the proposed development can only be considered beneficial to the area, providing an uplift to the quality and current form of the area as it currently stands.

"The proposed development proposes small commercial units on the ground floor fronting onto Waterloo Road. It is considered unlikely that large scale retail activity can be attracted back to this location."

The entrance lobby to the holiday apartments would be on the corner of Waterloo Road and Bond Street.

The building opened in 1928 as Blackpool’s second Woolworth’s before closing in 1994 with Harte’s then occupying it for 25 years until it closed down in January 2019.

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