Operator sought for prime Blackpool promenade site

Wednesday, 26 June 2024 17:10

By Shelagh Parkinson - Local Democracy Reporting Service

Image: Google

A new leisure attraction could be coming to Blackpool Promenade as the council has advertised for operators to take over a prime site.

Town hall chiefs are seeking a leisure use for land between South Pier and the Sandcastle Waterpark, which was previously occupied by a go-karting track.

The site has been empty for around two years after the operators of the track failed to get permission to extend its planning permission.

Now the council has posted documents on local authority procurement website The Chest seeking a leisure operator for the land which covers about 3,000 square metres. It fronts directly onto the Promenade in South Shore and has beach access.

Documents add: “This prominent site is located between the popular attractions of South Pier and Sandcastle Waterpark and is opposite The Velvet Coaster and Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Mains electricity is available close by and there is access to public toilets opposite. The site is fully hard surfaced.”

The council says traditional multi-ride fairground use will not be considered and developments must be of high quality and preferably offering something unique and different from anything already available in Blackpool.

The successful applicant will be responsible for obtaining any necessary planning and other statutory consents.

The land could be leased for up to 15 years but no details of the rental costs have been disclosed. The closing date for applications is midnight on July 18.

It is the second site on Blackpool promenade currently being offered by the council for leisure use. In May the council advertised a site on Central Promenade for potential leisure opportunities such as bungee jumping.

Karting 2000 Raceway was based between the Sandcastle and South Pier after being relocated there by the council in 2010 to allow for the building of the Starr Gate tram depot the following year.

But a bid to renew its temporary planning permission at the end of 2021/start of 2022 failed when town hall planners ruled the attraction would have an “unacceptable, long-term impact on the appearance and quality of the setting of a locally listed heritage asset (South Pier), and on strategic views of the seafront and coastline”.

Other objections to the raceway came from the Blackpool Civic Trust, which argued the attraction went against planning guidelines for no developments west of the tram tracks.

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