Muse to hold Blackpool public exhibition next week

Michael Hunt

The developer behind the Talbot Gateway scheme will present its proposals to transform Blackpool's town centre at a public exhibition from next Thursday.

Muse Developments, the Salford-based urban regeneration division of Morgan Sindall, is inviting local people to give their feedback on its proposed £220m development.

The 25-acre project around Blackpool North Station and Talbot Road will deliver 1.6m sq ft of commercial space alongside hotels, supermarket, retail and leisure.

Located at the north eastern part of the town, around Blackpool North Station and two years after winning preferred developer status on Talbot Gateway with Blackpool council, Muse Developments signed a development agreement for the scheme in March this year.

The plans have been prepared for an outline planning submission and will be reviewed following the consultation process, before the planning application is submitted to the council.

Mike Horner, regional director at Muse, said: "It's important to us that local people have the opportunity to see these plans and give us their feedback before we proceed with our planning application.

"Residents and business owners will be able to visit us at a series of public exhibitions, or alternatively can go online to view the proposals and leave their feedback.

"Our vision is to turn the area around the train station into a thriving commercial centre in the city, with supporting retail and leisure facilities as well as vast improvements to the public realm.

"We're very conscious that we need to meet the needs of existing residents and traders and attract future visitors to Blackpool.

"If local people support our plans then we would hope to start work in 2011, subject to securing planning permission."

Blackpool council will relocate to become anchor to the scheme in a new building in a pedestrianised square.

Other proposals include new town centre parking facilities and a public transport interchange, replacement courts, divisional police headquarter buildings, a health centre and a new library.

Muse Developments was selected as preferred developer in 2007 and since then has been working closely with ReBlackpool and Blackpool Council to refine the plans.

The drop-in sessions will be held at St John's Church in Cedar Square from Thursday 5 November until Saturday 7 November.

The times for the Talbot Gateway consultation are:

  • 1pm-8pm, Thursday 5 November
  • 10am-5.30pm, Friday 6 November
  • 9am-1pm, Saturday 7 November

Visitors will be able to view the plans and see artist's impressions of the proposed scheme as well as submit feedback.

The first phase of development, if planning permission is granted, will consist of a new foodstore and offices for the council together with some new public realm and infrastructure works. It is hoped that this will start onsite in two years time.

Over the next two years, after the public consultation, an outline planning application for the entire scheme will be submitted in December, as well as a formal consultation on the outline planning application.

A compulsory purchase order is expected to be made in January next year, with July 2010 being marked as the likely inquiry into the CPO. Results of the CPO are being estimated to take place in November next year, before the likely start on site of the first phase in early 2011.

The scheme has been prepared in association with Muse Developments' Masterplanners RTKL. DTZ, Montagu-Evans, Arup and How Planning have all advised on the scheme.

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