Blueprint for Morecambe’s future to divide town

The Midland Hotel in Morecambe.
The Midland Hotel in Morecambe.
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DEVELOPERS have revealed a new blueprint for Morecambe’s future – but it is once again set to divide the town.

A Morecambe town councillor thinks Urban Splash’s revised plans for high-rise flats, shops, cafes and car parking spaces on land next to the Midland Hotel remain unsuitable for the resort.

Evelyn Archer, also chair of the Friends of the Winter Gardens, said the mooted seven luxury apartment blocks are “still far too high” and would block views across the Bay.

Mrs Archer’s comments came after Urban Splash put in their second amended planning application for the controversial “central promenade development” nearly five years after the initial attempt.

She said she intends to set up a stall in the Arndale Centre so the public can see the plans and express their views.

Urban Splash, who restored and reopened Morecambe’s Midland Hotel in 2008, were first appointed by Lancaster City Council to revamp the central promenade site in 2005.

They first submitted plans in December 2007.

But after a public outcry, the Manchester-based company went back to the drawing board.

New plans went in but again there were public objections, although other residents gave the development the thumbs up.

Urban Splash’s accompanying report into the latest plans said: “We have addressed all the concerns that have arisen during this process.

“Revisions have been made to the layout, height and massing of the blocks.

“Views towards, through and around the site including views of the Bay have been improved by amendments to the design.

“Pedestrian access through and around the development has also been enhanced.”

Tom Bloxham MBE, chairman of Urban Splash, said last September: “I only want to work in towns and cities which want us to be there and there are lots of other towns and cities, apart from Morecambe, that are in need of regeneration, and in desperate need of treatment by somebody like Urban Splash.”

To see the plans, log on to http://planning.lancaster.gov.uk/online-applications/ and key in the application number: 07/01810/OUT. A public computer is available at Lancaster Town Hall customer service centre.

You can comment on the plans on line, or email dcconsultation@lancaster.gov.uk or write to Development Control Team, PO Box 4, Town Hall, Lancaster LA1 1QR. The deadline is July 23. Comments made in the past will be taken into consideration.