A Councillor is calling upon Sefton Council to 'move like the wind' to give protection to Southport's remaining small hotel district centred on Bath Street. Sefton Council's Planning Committee has just received yet another planning application for a bedsit conversion of a former hotel in the centre of Southport.
Hoteliers fear that the continual encroachment of multi-occupancy bedsit developments in the area are degrading their environment to a point where customers will feel the atmosphere makes it not a place they want to stay.
Town Centre Lib Dem councillor Tony Dawson has already been in discussions with councillors on the Planning Committee about creating a special planing area in this part of town to limit the number of Bedsit properties.But he feels that this fresh application demonstrates that speed is of the essence in this matter.
Councillor Dawson says:
"Councillor Richard Hands and I have already drawn our concerns on this matter to the Chair of Planning. Hoteliers feel that the expansion of the bedsits in their area, some of which are well-managed but others of which are definitely not, is already affecting their business by altering the 'feel' of the area. They feel that further encroachment will affect the viability of individual businesses which, in turn, will affect the ability of Southport to host small conferences and provide the variety of visitor experience which it has done.
"The creation of special planning regulations often takes a considerable amount of time. I am worried that by the time the Council gets round to it, even more Bath Street hotels may be gone. So I have asked the Planning Char and Director of Planning if this issue can be moved up the agenda and if the council will 'move like the wind' to bring in measures which will provide adequate protection."