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Splash 'committed' to finishing Morecambe scheme

19 Aug 2010, 08:57

Urban Splash has revised plans for a mixed-use development on Morecambe's Central Promenade.

Splash originally submitted an outline planning application to Lancaster City Council at the end of 2007. Plans included a hotel, offices of 14,000 sq ft, 381 flats, and public realm development on a ten acre site adjacent to the listed Midland Hotel, delivered in four phases. The Grade 2* listed Midland Hotel, pictured inset, reopened in 2008 following an £11m refurbishment by Urban Splash.

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Midland Hotel

An amended outline planning application was submitted in March this year scaling back two of the apartment blocks and an adding an opening at the centre of the site to create a view across Morecambe Bay.

The developer said in a statement: "We resubmitted the plans in line with a consultation we held with stakeholders a couple of months ago which addressed the scaling down of some of the proposed buildings along the Promenade. Since that was resubmitted the planning document is still going through the planning process. Meanwhile we're continuing to liaise with consultees about other factors of the development such as highways.

"We are focusing on the overall outline consent prior to looking at the first phase so will release details of that in the future. As yet there is no committee date fixed. We are waiting for our studies and consultations to be concluded to the satisfaction of all parties and this will probably be a time when a date is arranged."

London-based Flacq, which was bought by Arup Associates in March, is the masterplan architect for the project.

Lancaster City Council, which is continuing to work with Splash to deliver the £65m scheme, said progress on the application has been delayed due to the developer assessing how the project fits into the council's Morecambe Area Action Plan.

Mark Cassidy, assistant head of regeneration and policy development management at Lancaster City Council, added: "A report was prepared for planning committee in February 2010 recommending refusal of the plans. This recommendation was due to absence of amended plans. The committee resolved to defer the application pending receipt of promised amendments. These amendments, to the 2007 outline application, were eventually submitted earlier this year, March 2010, and were put back out to public consultation.

"However, since submission of amendments progress on the application has been delayed further. The applicant is undertaking further analysis work which is linked to the City Council's emerging Morecambe Area Action Plan. At the present time therefore, there is no date scheduled for discussion of Urban Splash's proposals at a planning committee."

The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment recently passed comment on Splash's plans saying it welcomed the ambition of the proposals.

CABE, however, had concerns over the increase in the amount of traffic and was also concerned that the current economic climate could lead to the scheme being incomplete and urged Lancaster City Council to request information on the phasing of the development, before making any decision on the first phase.

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