Project update: Swift Hound pub

An artists impression of how the new bingo hall, off Rigby Road, Blackpool, would look
An artists impression of how the new bingo hall, off Rigby Road, Blackpool, would look
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Decision put back on big bucks bingo bid for Swift Hound site

What’s happening?

Plans to demolish a Blackpool pub and replace it with a bingo hall have been referred until a planning committee meeting on Tuesday, July 17.

Councillors were recommended to refuse the application to re-develop the site of the Swift Hound pub, at the Festival Retail Park off Rigby Road, at a previous meeting.

READ MORE: New £7m bingo hall plans are set for pub site in Blackpool

What does the scheme entail?

The £6.8 million project would see the pub, which is set to close, replaced with a Club 3000 Bingo and a drive-through restaurant.

The move would make 55 full-time jobs, if councillors do approve, and the retail park is already home to an Odeon cinema, a Bannatyne’s gym, a McDonald’s with drive-through, and Frankie and Benny’s Italian-American diner. No date for the closure of the Swift Hound has been set, however.

READ MORE: Blackpool bingo plan could lose out

What’s the problem?

It was argued that the application failed to meet planning policy designed to safeguard the prosperity of the town centre.

A report to the council’s planning committee said that, while the scheme represented ‘significant inward investment into the town’, this must be ‘weight against the scheme’s failure to satisfy the sequential test’.

It said that, in the future, town centres must offer a more mixed offer combining retail, leisure, food, and drink.

The report said: “Blackpool is in a unique position to capitalise on its existing tourism appeal and strong leisure offer.

It is therefore imperative to ensure that all new main town centre uses, including leisure proposals, are located in strict accordance with the ‘town centre first’ objectives of the sequential test.”

Did Club 3000 Bingo look anywhere else?

The applicant said it had considered other sites in the town centre, including the former BHS store in Church Street and former Post Office in Abingdon St.