Developers eye next move for former Fleetwood Pier site

An artists impression of the flats
An artists impression of the flats

The team behind controversial plans to build ultra modern apartments on Fleetwood seafront is now considering its next move after the scheme was rejected by planners.

Simmo Developments argued that the 15 apartments for the over-55s and retail units, to be sited on the former Fleetwood Pier site, would provide vital housing provision in Wyre.

Mike Simmons

Mike Simmons

And planning agent Tony McAteer, who put forward the case for the scheme before Wyre planners on Wednesday, said organisations such as Natural England and Historic England had no objection to what was a “fair application”.

But the plans for the dramatic art-deco style building, in curved glass and steel, were rejected by planners on the grounds that its height, scale, mass, design and appearance would be out of keeping with its surroundings.

Wyre’s decision to refuse the plans delighted a group of Fleetwood residents in the gallery, who opposed the scheme and cheered loudly at the result.

But the rejection of the application still came as a surprise to many.

After the decision, Mr McAteer was asked if an appeal might be considered and commented: “Our client is reviewing his position regarding the application.

“We have yet to see the council decision notice and once we have we will sit down and decide the most appropriate way to go forward.”

Asked if he was surprised by the decision, Mr McAteer said: “As the promoters of the application, we were surprised but I suppose the opposition might say the same.”

Mike Simmons, who is a leading member of the consortium Simmo Developments, was not available for comment and did not attend the planning hearing at Wyre civic centre, Poulton.

It was the latest twist in a long-running saga which began when Mr Simmons first bought the Fleetwood Pier building for £500,000 in 2007.

The pier burnt down in September 2008, leaving the site unoccupied once the debris had been cleared.

Plans for a large, 34-bedroom hotel were rejected in a stormy planning hearing, held specially at the Marine Hall in November 2010.

But revised proposals to build a smaller 18-bedroom hotel on the former Fleetwood Pier site were given the go-ahead by Wyre planners in late June 2013.

Then came the latest proposals to build apartments - and this time Simmo Developments were again unsuccessful.

After the result, Fleetwood Labour councillor Ruth Duffy said: “I am delighted by the planning committee’s refusal to give planning consent to build what was widely considered a monstrosity on the pier site in Fleetwood.

“I thought that all members of the public who spoke during the meeting gave solid factual performances and their passion for Fleetwood shone through “