The owner of Blackpool’s South Pier will learn this week if its application for permission to keep the attraction’s log flume ride in its current site has been successful.
The move has been opposed by Blackpool Council’s planning officers and the nearby Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Eighteen months ago, Blackpool Pier Company was granted permission to re-locate the log flume from its previous position amongst other amusement rides at the end of the pier to its current position on the promenade just north of the pier.
Back then, council planners sanctioned the relocation after Blackpool Pier Company said that it would only be a temporary arrangement that would enable it to replace the flume with a different ride and carry out improvements at the end of the pier.
Coming up for two years later, however, the ride’s new site has proved so popular with visitors to the resort that Blackpool Pier Company would like to make the move a permanent one.
Planning officers now say that although they had sanctioned the log flume’s move to its present location on a temporary basis, the ride is not appropriate for the site in the long-term and would conflict with aspects of Blackpool Council’s Local Plan to enhance the resort.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach has also raised a number of its own objections, including concerns that the ride could damage its own trade and threaten jobs if it is allowed to stay on the promenade.
As tourism footfall in that area of the resort is particularly high, it is little surprise that the log flume has been a big success with holidaymakers.
It is the only ride of its type in Blackpool after the Pleasure Beach removed its own one in 2006, although the amusement park does have other water-based attractions.
The report to the council’s planning committee stated:“When it was originally approved on a temporary basis it was felt that the proposed improvements to the western end of the existing pier justified sup- porting the temporary relocation of ride for a period of 18 months.
“In addition it was felt that a restriction on the hours of operation of the ride (10am to 10pm) would mitigate the concerns raised by a local resident and a local hotelier.
“However in the absence of the improvements to the western end of the pier it is felt that there is no justification for the retention of the ride in this location.
“Given there have not been any improvements to the western end of the pier this key material consideration no longer weighs in favour of the proposal.”