Hotels facing bulldozers for 99 apartments

The derelict Kimberley Hotel on South Promenade could finally be bulldozed
The derelict Kimberley Hotel on South Promenade could finally be bulldozed

Fresh plans have been unveiled to redevelop a gateway to Blackpool which has been dubbed an ‘eyesore’.

The multi-million pound scheme would see the Kimberley, Waldorf and Henderson hotels on Wimbourne Place, South Promenade, bulldozed and replaced with 99 apartments.

The part of the development fronting the Promenade will be six storeys in height with a penthouse flat on top of that

It is the third set of plans to come forward for this particular site in recent years.

But neighbours have objected to the proposals which would see a five-to-seven storey high block built if they get the go ahead, because their homes would be overshadowed by the development.

However architect Michael Joyce, who has designed the scheme, said it would transform the area for the better.

He said: “The part of the development fronting the Promenade will be six storeys in height with a penthouse flat on top of that.

“But the part that is nearest to the houses is three storeys.

“Whereas the existing hotels have rear elevations which when they were built nobody cared what they looked like, this development will be just as well designed at the back as it is at the front.

“So the visual impact to the houses on Clifton Drive will be immensely improved compared to what they are looking at now. The development will also be lower than all the previous applications for this site.

“The local authority planners have asked for a prestigious block of flats. They are well designed and of a good size and they will sell for a higher than average price for that area.”

The first bid to redevelop the site with 166 apartments was thrown out by council planners in 2009 because the proposals did not include any holiday accommodation.

Another application was lodged last year for 139 apartments but was later withdrawn.

A financial report says the area is isolated from the main holiday zones, with no attractions nearby.

Another report accompanying the plans warns the decline of the site “into dereliction is a fundamental threat to the image of the area”.

In August Blackpool-based Create Development secured planning permission for an £8.5m scheme to build a four-storey 130 bedroom hotel on the site of the vacant Palm Beach and Bourne Hotels, also on Wimbourne Place.

It is scheduled to become a Hamptons by Hilton hotel.

Previously an 11-storey development for that site was approved by the council but it never went ahead.

The latest plans for the Kimberley, Waldorf and Henderson have seen the number of apartments scaled down from 139 to 99.

The design brief states: “The provision of high quality apartments in this key location would provide not only jobs, but new residents to play a part in the maintenance of a strong, vibrant and healthy community.”

However 10 objections to the application have been submitted.One neighbour Margaret Harrison of Clifton Drive, said: “Seven storeys is too high and there will be balconies on the back overlooking residents’ houses.

“The Hilton will be four storeys high and we are happy with that, and we believe the skyline for the whole crescent should be the same.

“The back of the Kimberley is an absolute eyesore and everyone wants to see the area redeveloped. It has been ongoing since 2008 and people’s lives have been on hold because of this.

“But 99 apartments is too many as the site is too small.”