Pier developer told he could win appeal over hotel proposals

Mike Simmons in front of the charred Fleetwood Pier in September 2008.
Mike Simmons in front of the charred Fleetwood Pier in September 2008.

FLEETWOOD Pier site developer Mike Simmons says he is now more confident he could win an appeal against the decision to refuse his controversial hotel plans.

Mr Simmons’ proposals to build a 43-bedroomed hotel on the site was refused by Wyre planners last November – despite recommendations to approve it.

This week Mr Simmons, who heads the consortium Simmo Developments, said he was in final negotiations before deciding whether to appeal or to press head with alternative plans for the site.

He said he expected to be in a position to reveal his next moves very soon.

He told the Weekly News: “I’m still negotiating and I’ve not decided yet whether to go for another project or appeal.

“I’ve been given to understand from good authority that I have a very good chance of winning an appeal. That is encouraging.”

Any appeal would be decided by a government planning inspector.

Mr Simmons paid around £500,000 to buy the pier building at an auction in Manchester, but the pier itself burned down in September 2008.

Still leasing the land from Wyre Council, he pressed ahead with proposals for the hotel and last year Wyre planning officers recommended his ambitious project for approval.

But when the application came up before planners at a special hearing in the Marine Hall last year, councillors voted it against it.

It was refused because of size of the hotel, effect on nearby residents and parking concerns.