Surge in Blackpool group holidays leads to fears of unruly and rowdy house parties

Particular concern is raised for those bookings where no manager is on site during stays

Tougher planning controls are being used to curb the spread of so-called ‘party houses’ in Blackpool amid fears the trend could fuel rowdy behaviour from some holiday-makers.

Concerns have been raised about the growth of holiday accommodation where there is no management on site, particularly when large groups of guests check in.

A planning document accompanying one scheme which was refused by the council, warns: “The council now has very extensive experience of both traditional hotel accommodation and serviced, self-contained holiday flat accommodation. The latter presents one of the biggest challenges to the council’s public protection teams in terms of noise nuisance and anti-social behaviour.

“As a result, increasing controls are now being placed on planning permissions granted for new serviced self-contained holiday accommodation uses.”

Hoteliers group StayBlackpool says it is increasingly concerned about ” the explosion of holiday accommodation were no on-site management is in place.”

Director Ian White said: “StayBlackpool is supporting the council moving forward as there are also a number of traditional b&b’s where multiple key boxes can be seen outside the properties. The risks associated with significant numbers of people in a confined space in such an unmanaged way raises many concerns.”

He added with a number of planning applications now being submitted for group accommodation, the use of stronger controls “sends out a strong message the council is concerned about potential party houses and their potential negative impacts on neighbourhoods and wider communities.”

Proposals to use a property at 13 Empress Drive for groups of up to 20 holidaymakers have been approved by planners on condition there is a manager on site. Applicant Fylde Coast and Country Stays said on-site manager’s accommodation would be provided at the rear of the property.

They added there was growing demand from holidaymakers for group accommodation, particularly from families who had been kept apart during the Covid pandemic.

A planning statement accompanying the application adds: “The proposal is intended to meet a market demand from larger family groups looking to holiday together, this market has increased significantly.”

It goes on: “Family groups also want the informal relaxed option offered by self-serviced accommodation, avoiding the constraints of hotel rooms and regimented timings for meals, also the lack of social space offered by smaller holiday apartments.”

However planners have refused an application to use the Charlton Hotel on the Promenade in South Shore as an apart-hotel, saying there was not enough evidence to support a change of use for the building.


Shelagh ParkinsonLocal democracy reporter
  • 05:10, 2 JUN 2022


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