A multi-million pound revamp of run-down hotels on Blackpool Promenade will ‘dramatically improve’ the area, developers have pledged.
The scheme to bulldoze the Waldorf, Kimberley and Henderson Hotels on South Promenade and replace them with apartments was approved unanimously by councillors, who had rejected three previous applications.
In total it has taken nine years of talks to reach an agreement. During that time parts of the site have become increasingly neglected prompting concerns.
Residents living nearby had repeatedly objected to the proposals, saying the height of the building would leave their properties overshadowed.
The latest scheme had been scaled back to reduce the height of the building, cutting the number of flats from 91 to 88 and increasing parking to provide one space per flat.
Coun Lynne Williams, chairman of Blackpool Council’s planning committee, said: “We understand some residents have concerns about this scheme, but we have to balance that against the benefit to the whole of the town.
“This area has become dreadfully run-down and the committee was understanding of the fact the developers had listened and taken on board our previous comments, and made sufficient amendments for us to approve this application.”
The planning committee unanimously approved the application.
Coun Williams added: “The issues which previously caused the scheme to be turned down had been over-development, height and parking, and there had also been an issue with residents being over-looked.
“The latest application had been scaled down.
“We understand schemes like this have to be viable for developers, but there has to be compromise and we felt this latest application represented a fair compromise.”
Town hall planning officers had recommended approval saying they considered “the regeneration benefits of the proposal” outweighed concerns over parking provision and “possible impact on neighbouring residents and hotels.”
Val Smith, owner of the Kimberley Hotel, said it had been a long fight to secure planning approval.
She said: “We are delighted that after a long, hard road, these plans have been passed and this section of Blackpool’s famous promenade will now be so dramatically improved. It will be in line with the rest of the redevelopment in that area.
“The scheme has been scaled back quite considerably in response to the concerns of residents.
“We are pleased we have now reached an outcome we feel is positive for everyone.”
The scheme will see the construction of a three to six-storey block of 88 flats on the site at Wimbourne Place on South Promenade following demolition of the existing hotels, of which only the Waldorf is still trading.
The new building will increase in height towards the south end of the site, and taper towards properties at the rear. Glazing will be installed on the top floor and most of the flats will have balconies to make the most of the sea views.
Two hotels have already been demolished on the neighbouring site - the Palm Beach and the Warwick.
Create Developments is building a £20m 130-bedroom Hampton by Hilton hotel on the site of the Palm Beach, while the Warwick has been replaced with a temporary car park.
The Palm Beach had been the target of repeated vandal attacks including incidents of arson.