‘We still want to invest in resort – Premier Inn

An architects drawing of the proposed Premier Inn
An architects drawing of the proposed Premier Inn
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Bosses at a national hotel chain say they still hope to invest millions in Blackpool despite a planning application for a key town centre site 
being rejected.

Leisure giant Whitbread had applied to Blackpool Council to build a six-storey property, to a house a Premier Inn hotel and Brewer’s Fayre pub restaurant, in Talbot Square, Blackpool.

Planning bosses said the development would have been “the most significant” in central Blackpool’s recent history, as it would have filled the former Yates’s Wine Lodge site, between Talbot Road and Clifton Street.

The venue burned down in February 2009 in a suspected arson attack and has been an empty, eyesore site since.

But the application was turned down by Blackpool Council’s planning committee on Monday, on the grounds of concerns about parking for the 150-bedroom hotel and the design of the building.

Now the applicants have said they are not deterred and still want to invest £10m in the town and create 
dozens of jobs.

Nick Johnston, an acquisition manager for Premier Inn, said: “Clearly we’re disappointed not to have been granted planning permission at Monday’s committee because we want to invest in Blackpool and the scheme had an officer’s recommendation for approval.

“We’re now looking at the details and reasons given for the refusal and will then decide our next steps.

“Together with our development partner we want to see this scheme happen, to regenerate the site in the best way possible and to bring the £10m investment and 70 year-round jobs to the town.”

The original proposal promised to provide 100 new jobs, 65 per cent of which would have been full-time and half of which were to go to young people, the firm said.

Planning committee members suggested they are still open to a development of the same sort on the site, but stressed it has to be “right”.

Concerns were raised about the art-deco styling of the building, which would stand beside period buildings, a church and the town hall.

And the councillors said they did not feel they had enough information from the designs to be able to make a proper decision on them.

Chairman Coun David Owen said: “It’s going to have an impact, whatever it is, and we’ve got to get it right.”

Coun Pam Jackson added: “I want a hotel and I want jobs but I think it should be more in keeping with our other buildings.”

Councillors want a potentially award-winning design and assurances on parking.