Residents voice hotel concerns

Artist impression of new Travelodge planned for St Annes Square
Artist impression of new Travelodge planned for St Annes Square
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RESIDENTS have revealed they would welcome the transformation of a St Annes eyesore – but are concerned turning it into a budget hotel will cause car parking chaos and bring revellers to the town.

Travelodge want to use vacant office space above the town’s Marks and Spencer store, on Clifton Drive South, to open a 61-bedroom hotel, which the firm believe could bring £600,000 a year to the local economy.

But the chain has come in for heavy criticism over its failure to provide adequate car parking.

Don Riley, chairman of the residents’ association at neighbouring Braxfield Court, said: “We’ve no real objections to the design and looking at the place we think it will be a big improvement. It’s the car parking everybody is worried about. And that accommodation would be ideal for stag and hen parties as there’s a club nearby. That would be a disaster for St Annes.”

Speaking at a meeting of St Annes Town Council, Richard Bourne, from land owners RO Developments, said: “I know there have been concerns about various things and we will try and take those on board.

“What we’re trying to do is help the area and improve the area, we’re not looking to come in and turn it upside down.”

Michael Green, who owns The Hollingworth Hotel, on Clifton Drive South, said local hoteliers had other concerns about the scheme.

He said: “One of our big concerns is there seems to be a dwindling visitor interest in the town.

“We’re getting dwindling numbers and it’s not just the current economic climate – it’s been happening for years.”

But Travelodge believe the hotel will boost the economy and their representative Nick Dines said: “Guests will be eating out in local pubs and restaurants and we estimate the annual worth of this will be £600,000.”

The application is expected to be decided by Fylde Council in April.