Return of plans for pier flats

Artist's impression of the apartments proposed by Simmo Developments.

Artist's impression of the apartments proposed by Simmo Developments.

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Just weeks after plans to build controversial apartments on the former Fleetwood Pier site were rejected by planners, a revised application has been submitted.

But objectors who celebrated when the earlier plans were refused last month have vowed to fight again.

Simmo Developments, the consortium headed by businessman Mike Simmons, has lodged an outline planning application for 15 apartments for over 55s.

There are revisions to the previous applications which show the proposed, ultra modern building would be around a foot lower in some areas and there are reductions in the size of retail units.

It is the latest chapter of a long-running saga which began when Mr Simmons, aka comedian Joey Blower, bought the old pier building for £500,000 in 2007 and commenced a long term lease of the site from Wyre Council.

Simmo’s earlier version of the apartment scheme, lodged last year, was rejected by planners because its height, scale, mass, design and appearance would appear as an obtrusive, alien, and incongruous form of development on a prominent promenade location, out of keeping with the Fleetwood Conservation Area.

One of the 200 plus objectors to that scheme, Fleetwood Civic Society chairman Margaret Daniels, said: “It seems to me that there is very little difference between this version and the one rejected.

“I would think that all the reasons for it being refused will still apply, but I would urge anyone who is against this scheme to get their objections in as soon as possible.

“Because this is a new application, none of the objections from the last times will stand.

“And Wyre planners may deal with this one much more quickly, so people who are against this must not waste any time.”

By lunchtime yesterday, no less than 38 objections had been received by Wyre since Saturday.

One objector, Eric Southworth, of Larkholme Parade, Fleetwood, stated in his objection: “The proposed building is not required; it in no way enhances the natural beauty of the foreshore in the area which is designated an area of natural beauty due to flora and fauna; it will be liable to flooding; access to it would create a hazard to the public on the busy public footpath.”

But Simmo states that in the plans that development will enhance the area and that the original pier closed down in 2000 because it was unsustainable.”

And one Fleetwood resident, who did not wish to be named, says he is in support of the plans.

The resident said: “The majority of the objections were, at best, dubious and, at worst, incorrect.

“Whilst there are some notable original Victorian buildings, the fact is that it lost its Victorian look a long time ago.

“I thought the town’s motto was Onward.”

Tony McAteer, the planning agent for Simmo, did not wish to comment, while Mr Simmons was not available.

The plans were lodged last week with the planning number 17/00126/OUTMAJ.

Read more about the background to this story here