Blackpool Council has deferred a decision on retrospective planning permission for the Central Pier’s Terrace Bar, after a 28-page report from the Sedgwick family revealed that refusal could jeopardise the future of the town’s three piers.
The bar, which was discovered to have been operating for four years without planning approval in May, provides almost half the bar income for the three piers, with pier representative Chris Weetman noting its financial significance.
“This isn’t a town centre use, but a very specific type of bar. It is an open air, seafront bar designed to capture the outdoor seafront experience,” said Weetman. “It is there to serve the piers – it is there to bring finance back to the piers.”
“The fire, Covid, the closure of the piers has seriously damaged the finances of the company. This bar alone provides 47 percent of all the bar income from all three piers. Without it there would be job losses, without it the company could not generate enough income to carry out repairs on all three piers including the more important listed North Pier.”
The planning committee had been recommended to refuse permission due to the bar’s position west of the tram tracks, reserved for “public realm improvements such as sea defences, transport improvements, landscaping, public amenities and ancillary small-scale retail outlets.”
However, after reading the report, members agreed to defer a decision on the application until October at the earliest.