Premier Inn pull out of planned Morecambe retail park

The hotel chain, Premier Inn, will not be putting up a hotel as initially planned at the Bay retail Park that is to be constructed in Morecambe. The revelation comes several months late as Nick Johnston who is the Acquisitions Manager for Premier Inn announce that they had reached an amicable agreement with the developer in September 2016 to withdraw from the site due to what they termed as unforeseen circumstances. The statement by Johnston also revealed that the developer was already talking to other possible replacements. He concluded by stating that the hotel chain would still consider putting up a hotel in Morecambe in the future but only if and when they found the right site.

The developers, Opus North, were yet to comment on the matter. The work on the Bay Shopping Park was supposed to start back in May 2016. The 60-bedroom hotel and pub-restaurant that was to be put up by Premier Inn was supposed to serve as a replacement for Ranch House pub which closed shop back in January of 2016. It’s also expected that the Polo Tower will be brought down as soon as a contractor has been chosen.

Opus North revealed back in July 2015 that they were in talks with TK Maxx and B&M Bargains. Opus North was working with Morrisons, who are the site owners and they had targeted the autumn of 2015 for the commencement of the job. However, talks with the retailers stalled in September of the same year due to what were termed as, ‘practical hurdles’. The 168ft Polo tube was also, at that time, being used by the EE telecommunications company (formerly Orange) as a mast. However, the licence for the use of the tube was set to expire after January 2016.

By November 2014, the developers had already received the necessary planning permissions to put up a new shopping park. The shopping park was supposed to include restaurants, shops and parking space for 300 cars. If completed, the shopping park will have 100,000 square feet of shopping area, restaurant, accommodation and parking space. The site of the complex is that of the former Frontierland fairground site. This would put it right next to the 70,000 square foot Morrisons store. It was expected that the shopping complex would create around 500 jobs.

Despite the setbacks, the developers recently assured the area residents that they remain committed to putting up the shopping park.

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