Prom scheme back on track

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AMBITIOUS plans for a £2m development on Blackpool Promenade have been resurrected.

The scheme to replace two hotels had stalled due to the recession but developers are hoping to kick-start it again and have applied to the council to re-new planning permission for the site at the corner of the Promenade and Trafalgar Road in South Shore.

It is hoped if it goes ahead, it would trigger regeneration of that part of the seafront. Developers want to demolish the existing buildings and build a new six-storey property in their place.

The proposals are for a retail unit on the ground floor, a restaurant on the ground and first floor, and 14 self-contained permanent flats on the floors above. Parking would be provided in the basement.

Currently the site is occupied by two three-storey premises which are used as hotels, one of which has been empty for some time. Together, they make up the end of a terrace predominantly comprised of hotel accommodation.

The empty premises at 273 Promenade have been described by planners as being in a poor state of repair and have been the subject of enforcement action.

Andrew Kirkman, managing director of Preston-based MCK Associates Limited, which has made the application, said it was hoped building work on the scheme would begin this year, providing the planning permission was renewed and if the economy picked up.

He said: "This application is a simple renewal of the previously approved application. The development has not commenced due to the economic situation which has led to us applying to renew the permission with the intention of commencing construction as soon as the economy dictates, which hopefully will be in 2011.

"When completed it will be a stunning and modern addition to the Promenade replacing two hotels, one of which has been empty for many years."

Coun Mary Smith, in whose Bloomfield ward the scheme sits, welcomed investment in the site. She said: "Anything would be better than what is there at the moment.

"It is a prominent site and I have always said what a mess it looks and really something ought to be done there."

The proposals are now with council planners awaiting permission.