Mass protest fails to halt pier hotel bid

Protesters gather on Fleetwood seafront yesterday morning ahead of the planning hearing.
Protesters gather on Fleetwood seafront yesterday morning ahead of the planning hearing.

Controversial plans to build an 18-bedroom hotel on the former Fleetwood Pier site have been given the go-ahead.

Wyre’s planning committee voted 9-4 in favour of the proposals by Simmo Developments – despite a protest by a 60-strong group on the seafront during a site visit yesterday morning.

Fleetwood speakers objected to the plans – a two-storey hotel including restaurant, cafe units, bar and leisure uses – including four Wyre councillors from the town and one Fleetwood Town councillor.

Coun Iain Johnstone raised fears that flood data received by the planning committee was out of date and didn’t take into account flood risks.

Town council member Coun David Shaw raised objections that the proposals had no car parking facilities and would take away valuable parking spaces on Fleetwood seafront.

Coun Rita Hewitt claimed there had been a mishandling of the planning application by Wyre because it had been resubmitted without a fresh public notice to allow for objections. However despite a string of objections including the loss of view, environmental threat to sea holly and fears over the sustainability of the new hotel, head of planning David Thow stated that only parking and the scale of the building were actually planning matters.

Coun Paul Moon, one of the nine councillors to back the hotel plans, told the meeting: “The Enviornment Agency has no objections, United Utilities has no objections and neither has English Nature. I cannot find a reason to refuse this application.”

The session, chaired by Coun David Henderson, ended with the vote. After the verdict Fleetwood councillor Ron Shewan, who had spoken against the hotel plans, said: “I am devastated they didn’t take some very strong points into account.”

Coun Lorraine Beavers, another speaker, said: “They just haven’t listened to the people of Fleetwood and that is the most frustrating thing.”