Attractions at loggerheads over re-siting of ride

The South Pier log flume ride
The South Pier log flume ride
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Leisure operators are at loggerheads over plans to relocate a log flume ride.

The owners of South Pier want to move the ride from the end of the pier to a new location alongside it on the Promenade, in order to undertake improvements to the pier.

But Blackpool Pleasure Beach is bidding to block the development which it claims “will simply look like a fairground ride standing on the tarmacadam”.

It says the attraction is not high quality enough for such a prominent location and as such will be damaging to Blackpool’s image.

A letter to planners submitted on behalf of the Pleasure Beach says: “Located outside of a defined amusement park boundary, the proposed log flume will have an unacceptable impact upon the town’s existing amusement park attractions, which will in turn potentially have a substantial and permanent impact on the attractions’ ability to create jobs and on their contribution to the local economy.

“The log flume will be located very close to the main entrance of BPB (Blackpool Pleasure Beach), so will have particularly negative consequences for the park.”

But South Pier owner Peter Sedgwick hit back, saying “we have to do something for the south end of town.”

He wants to put modern water features on the end of the pier.

Mr Sedgwick said: “With the Pleasure Beach closing earlier we have to put more attractions on the south end of the Promenade at night.

“People from Preston and Blackburn used to have a ride out to Blackpool after work, and there are a lot of people staying in the hotels.

“There are a lot of businesses which suffer when the Pleasure Beach closes but we are a seaside town that is open for business at night. So why they are complaining, I don’t know.”

However the application has been earmarked for approval when it goes before the council’s planning committee tomorrow.

In their report planners admit the ride “would not make a strong positive contribution to the physical regeneration of the resort” but it would add to the existing concentration of attractions in the area which include a go-karting centre, the Sandcastle Water Park and the pier itself.

Councillors are being asked to support a temporary relocation of the log flume for 18 months.

It is proposed to restrict the hours of operation to 8am to 8pm to mitigate concerns of a local resident and hotelier who have also objected on the grounds of noise.

The report says: “Overall it is felt the physical enhancement of the pier structure outweighs the temporary harm in locating the ride adjacent to the pier.”

The South Pier log flume is the only one in Blackpool after the one on the Pleasure Beach was removed in 2006.

There are other water-based rides at the Pleasure Beach, which keeps its rides running until at least 5pm during weekdays at the moment, but stays open until 7pm at weekends and during the school holidays.