Abandoned beachfront hotel in Blackpool is set to be turned into brand new £4m luxury apartments
Work is due to start early next year to turn a derelict site on Blackpool’s seafront into luxury apartments after planners gave the green light to the £4million scheme.
Blackpool-based businessman Ged O’Mahoney of Go Developments says securing planning permission for construction on the site of the former Ambassador Hotel is a key moment in the long journey towards regeneration. After buying the hotel on the corner of Derby Road and North Promenade in 2018, Ged faced delays caused by Covid as well as the emergency demolition of the building in November 2020 after the council ruled that he was in a dangerous state.
Since then, he has worked with town hall developers to design a program to revitalize the land that remained empty. The council’s planning committee unanimously approved the application for a seven-storey block of 26 serviced holiday apartments when it met on Tuesday September 6.
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Speaking after the decision, Ged said he was now looking forward to further development. He said: “I have already invested around £700,000 in the site and the total development value is £4m.
“Work will start in early 2023, and I would be looking to launch in spring 2024 with the aim of having five-star luxury apartments. I have 100% confidence in Blackpool and have never seen such an influx of people into the town.
“But people who come here now expect to stay in top quality accommodation, and with airbnbs etc they have a lot more choice and can look around to choose where and how to spend their money. I have already completed a development on Queen Street of 15 luxury vacation apartments which are proving a success.
“What I have here on North Promenade is a fantastic location, with views out to sea and across the Lake District. There is no stopping us now.” Ged has had to overcome a number of hurdles since purchasing the ‘Ambassador which had become a magnet for anti-social behavior and arson since its closure around 2013.
In January 2018, it took fire crews two and a half hours to control a fire that destroyed the first floor. It was the latest in a series of fires at the hotel. By November 2020, the elements had battered the building to such an extent that municipal building control officers had no choice but to order an emergency demolition.
Ged said: “It’s been a tough journey to get to this point. When Covid arrived I couldn’t find anyone to seal the roof of the building and in October and November we had heavy rain. The steel supports inside had failed and the council intervened and used their emergency powers to bring down the building.
“I then worked with the council over the next 12 months to come up with this development. I’m 37 and have lived in Blackpool all my life and my property company has over 400 properties in Blackpool.
“And that’s why I’m so determined to redevelop this site. I think this is one of the best spots on the boardwalk and I want to be able to walk past and say “look what we’ve done”. “If the development is as good as the artist’s impression, it should make an impressive improvement to the site.”
The program will see each floor, except the top floor, have four apartments, two with two double bedrooms and the other two with a single and a double, plus bathrooms and a living/kitchen/dining room. The top floor will have two apartments located at the front and sides of the building with terraces, each with a double bedroom and a single bedroom next to the bathrooms and the living/kitchen/dining room.
Pedestrian access will be from Derby Road and there will be parking for up to 13 vehicles. All holiday apartments will have their main view from the living/dining/kitchen areas over the promenade or Derby Road, with only the bedrooms having a rear view.
Three of the apartments will benefit from private roof terraces and a common terrace for residents will also be planned on the top floor. The site is within the North Rim Conservation Area and in their report, City Hall planners, who had recommended the application be approved, said that “the redevelopment of this is welcome in terms of Design”.
The report adds: “Overall, the redevelopment of the site is fully welcomed in terms of design and the proposal is considered visually acceptable. The current cleared site is at odds with adjacent properties and the character of the conservation area, as the Ambassador Hotel which once stood on the site gave a strong sense of enclosure to this prominent corner, which is now missing.
“The proposal for a substantial seven-storey building is therefore welcome, as it would bring back a sense of enclosure and complete the terrace of the holiday accommodation overlooking the promenade, enhancing and preserving the conservation area.”