Home > Council and Democracy > Agenda item

Agenda item


To consider planning application 21/0234 for the retention of single storey building, canopy, decking, and boundary treatment and use of premises as a bar and external seating area.


The Planning Committee considered application number 21/0234 for the retention of a single storey building, canopy, decking and boundary treatment and use of premises as a bar and external seating area at land adjacent to Central Pier, Promenade, Blackpool.


Ms Susan Parker, Head of Development Management, presented the report to the Committee and advised that the application had been brought before the Committee because it was in a very prominent position on the Promenade and was of general public interest. The Committee was reminded that the application had been previously brought before them in August 2021 and had been deferred to allow all parties to properly consider legal information and to allow the applicant to submit viability information in support of their proposal. A summary of the application was provided which was to retain use of the land immediately to the north of Central Pier as a drinking establishment with associated structures, terrace and boundary treatments.


The Committee was advised that the applicant’s claim that the use as a bar was a tourist attraction in its own right in accordance with Policy CS21 of the Core Strategy was not accepted by Planning Officers, nor was the claim that the bar was an ancillary element of the existing Pier. The applicant had submitted the sequential appraisal however, officers were of the view that justification of why the bar had to be open air had not been provided and sequentially preferable, alternative sites were available. The site lay within Flood Zone 3 and no information to demonstrate compliance with a sequential test relating to flood risk had been provided.


Ms Parker advised the Committee that the site was in close proximity to heritage assets, had an impact on the locally listed Central Pier and the Huntsman Building and the Foxhall Conservation Area and that the bar obstructed views of the pier and undermined its setting. Officers were of the opinion that the bar was a poor quality, piecemeal development and contrary to multiple planning policies.


Work had been undertaken to explore justification of a temporary planning permission as it was recognised that the bar provided income for the Central Pier company. Ms Parker informed the Committee that if a costed programme of works to repair the Piers and bring them to a manageable condition had been agreed then the operations of a bar for a set period of time could have been acceptable to fund the works, however to date insufficient information had been provide to Planning Officers to support any such justification.


Ms Parker noted that no unacceptable impact on residential or visitor amenity from the bar were anticipated and the scheme did not raise any issues in respect of parking, access or impact on the highway network. However the development was not considered to be acceptable on a permanent basis and was in conflict with multiple planning policies. The Committee was recommended to reuse planning permission for the reasons given in the committee report.


Mr Chris Weetman, CW Planning Solutions, spoke on behalf of the applicant. He reminded the Committee of the reasons for deferral in August 2021 and expressed concerns about the length of time taken to bring the application back to the Committee. He clarified the timeline within which the applicant had provided information to Planning Officers, that in his opinion the committee report did not provide sufficient mention of legal opinion and that the conclusion of the legal opinion had not been shared until publication of the committee report. Mr Weetman stated that the gas and electricity was shared with the Pier which, in his opinion, made the bar ancillary to the Pier and asked the Committee to approve the application.


Mr Mark Marshall, the applicant, shared the public speaking time with Mr Weetman and provided the Committee with an update on works to repair the Pier, budget constraints and challenges, costs and estimated a timeline of around 5-7 years.


The Committee discussed the application and in response to questions, it was confirmed that as soon as the applicant had taken over the bar and had become aware of the need for planning permission, the application had been lodged. Ms Parker noted the length of time taken to bring the application back to the Committee but that this was due to seeking legal opinion and attempts to facilitate a temporary planning permission. She also reminded the Committee that planning legislation was a separate entity to licensing legislation and building control legislation.


The Committee noted the objections from Built Heritage and the Civic Trust and the site’s proximity to locally listed buildings and the Foxhall Conservation Area. In addition the Committee observed that the children’s ride that had been temporarily moved from the Pier to the Promenade was still in situ, further encroaching onto the Promenade.



To refuse planning permission for the reasons in the committee report.

Supporting documents: