Monday, 4 February 2013

Council throws out Urban Splash Prom plans

Lancaster City Council’s planning committee has refused plans by Urban Splash for Morecambe’s Central Promenade area.

The plans were rejected due to doubts over whether Urban Splash could deliver the scheme given the current state of the economy, and the impact that an unfinished scheme could have upon the setting of the Midland Hotel, the conservation area and the Winter Gardens.

While the committee welcomed Urban Splash’s contribution to the continuing regeneration of the town, through the regeneration of the Midland Hotel, it was of the opinion that the scheme was no longer viable.

The committee heard that the development would be a “giant leap of faith” in the current climate.

While it had the potential to create the conditions for private investment that would assist with tackling the key problems that are holding back Morecambe’s regeneration, the gaps between the development’s phases were lengthy, and the applicant could not guarantee the timing of the development, or the end-uses that would occupy space within it.

This meant major uncertainty over  the delivery of the scheme and the desire to include leisure uses and quality open spaces as part of the redevelopment.

As a result the committee refused the application.

Councillor Keith Budden, chairman of Lancaster City Council’s planning committee, said: “Through the regeneration of the Midland Hotel Urban Splash have done an awful lot of good for Morecambe and there’s no doubt that we are better placed now to fulfil our ambitions for the town than 10 years ago.

“But a lot has changed in the period since the plans were first submitted and unless we can be certain that the development is viable the committee decided it could not be granted in its current form.

“We would be doing a disservice to the people of Morecambe if we were to agree a scheme which could lay unfinished and it is a chance we could not take.”

Urban Splash chairman Tom Bloxham, has said the firm will invest in other towns if residents continue to oppose the plans.


Anonymous said...

Could VL inform us how our elected representatives voted. Who was the one councillor who stood alone as imo they are not fit for purpose (and I dont mean COMMON PURPOSE- LOL)

Anonymous said...

Pity our local press as usual keep us in the dark and consistently disrespect democracy by not informing us how elected representatives vote.

I have been reliably informed that it was CONsewrvative City Councillor Rollins whose ward is Heysham South and who lives at waterside in Lancaster who voted alone. I trust his vote was cast on behalf of the majority in his ward!
I cannot see him getting re-elected when the people of South Heysham discover how he voted.

The Editor said...

I'm afraid we don't have details of the vote. But I believe it should be in the minutes of the meeting when they are published?

Anonymous said...

You dont have the details so who supplies the details? The minutes of the meeting wont be accessible until the next meeting - weeks/months off!

Democracy does not stand a chance of working as it should if the electorate are not informed how each elected representative votes.

According to the local press and VL there were 13 who voted, 12 against and 1 for, yet there are more than 13 Councillors on the planning committee according to the City Council website!

A true accountable democracy would have a recorded vote for every decision made by our public servant trustees.

Sadly though democracy is an illusion, the truth and reality is its a DEMOCKERY of democracy or rather a DEMONocracy to maintain the corrupt status quo the majority of us struggle to survive in. We should all be thriving not struggling to survive.

Anonymous said...

If you are so concerned about this, why didn't you go to the meeting and see who voted yourself?

Anonymous said...

Shocking news not reported in our top quality local professional independent press:-

Anonymous said...

The auditor of developer Urban Splash has said there is “significant doubt” the firm can continue to trade unless it is able to renegotiate over £200m of loans.

In a note to the firm’s accounts, Damian Sanders, chartered accountant at Deloitte, said the ongoing renegotiation of £206.8m of loans with the firm’s lenders created “material uncertainly” that it could continue as a going concern.

Chris Satori said...

Thank you for the many anonymous posts we have received for this story. As the law stands, we cannot publish allegations which are both unsigned and unsubstantiated. If you can supply evidence to substantiate them, you are invited to correspond directly and in confidence with the editor at

Anonymous said...

Your action of not providing an address here, as requested, to send the evidence to or publish these messages says it all about this website and that it is an agent of the authorities and not interested in publishing truth. Shame on the lot of you.A community website really!

Ben Parker said...

Oh for goodness sake, 'Anonymous' - Virtual-Lancaster's address is published on its main web site ( and has been for years!

And if you bothered to look back at the stories they have published, you'd see they have run a lot of stories - backed by quotes and reliable documentation - that other local papers haven't.

If you want to know people voted at this meeting you could try asking the Council, their number is in the phone book.

Chris Satori said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben Parker said...

Good response, plenty of detail and more than enough for 'Anonymous'you'd hope! Cheers