Historic England describes Areas of Special Local Character as historically important areas that fail to meet the criteria for Conservation Area designation. The main difference between Conservation Areas and Areas of Special Local Character is that planning permission is necessary for partial or total demolition in Conservation Areas, as well as the removal of some permitted development rights. Permitted development rights in Areas of Special Local Character are not affected, unless article 4 directions are made for individual locally listed buildings. However, its special interest will be a material consideration when planning applications which would result in the total or partial demolition, or major alteration, of any building within the area are being determined.
Bond Street and Waterloo Road are the main historic shopping streets serving the South Shore area. Commercial pressures and poor development management in the past have resulted in the loss of many architectural features, and more recently the economic decline of the area has resulted in high vacancy levels and disrepair. Nevertheless, there is a significant cluster of locally listed buildings along these streets, plus the grade II listed Holy Trinity Church which, together with some interesting original architectural features on the upper floors of other buildings, merits the ‘local listing’ of Waterloo Road and Bond Street as an Area of Special Local Character. Such a designation would assist the decision-making process when applications are received which would affect the setting of listed and locally listed buildings, or where proposals would result in further erosion of historic character. This public consultation invites representations on the proposal
Holy Trinity Church, Dean Street/Bond Street
Summary of Significance
Bond Street and Waterloo Road developed as the main retail and commercial area of South Shore. Today these streets retain their retail character and are busy thoroughfares which include several locally listed buildings and the grade II listed Holy Trinity Church.
The Cottage Bakery Building
Historical development of South Shore
Early mapping of South Shore shows that there were few buildings in the area until the mid-1800s. In the early 19th century the area today known as South Shore or South Beach was known as New Blackpool, and was formed as a separate community and a rival resort to Blackpool. The first house was reputedly built by Mr Thomas Moore in 1819, and the community grew to a definable settlement by 1838 although it only contained about fifty properties. The 1838 Tithe map shows that South Shore was a distinguishable community with buildings mainly located on a square of streets behind the seafront, between Bolton Street and Britannia Place.
Between 1845 and 1850 land at South Shore had become highly desirable. Lytham Road (then Broad Lane) and Waterloo Road formed the principal routes through South Shore, with Church Street (later renamed Bond Street) running parallel to the seafront; this was no more than a track at its south end where it led to the church.
The OS map of 1893 shows that South Shore had by then merged with Blackpool to form the southern tip of the urban area. The mapping shows a densely built-up area around Church Street (Bond Street), which developed as the area’s principal shopping district. To the south of Dean Street the houses were larger and less densely developed, their middle class aspirations expressed by streets named after Queen Victoria’s holiday homes (Osborne and Balmoral). New streets to the south of Station Road are clearly shown, following field boundaries, and by the 1890s these streets were lined with rows of semi-detached, terraced and detached houses.
To the north of Dean Street, denser terraced streets were developed parallel to the seafront in a compact grid. The larger seafront villas and hotels had large gardens fronting the promenade. Proximity to the sea was the attraction; larger properties are shown on the 1890s OS map closest to the sea, compared with inland, although streets south of Dean Street were lined with substantial houses built for the middle classes. Alongside affluent retired people, these houses were mostly occupied by commuters and commercial travellers who had easy access to the rail network from South Shore station. There were also a few respectable lodging houses for summer visitors drawn by the Pleasure Beach, developed on rough pasture to the south of Balmoral Road in the 1890s. The district was also served by the promenade tramway from 1885 and the tram along Lytham Road.
By 1911 most of the gap sites to the south of Waterloo Road had been filled with terraces and semi-detached houses, and a large hotel facing the station (the Grand) had been built in the late 19th century on Lytham Road. The streets to the north of Waterloo Road were also completed, with higher density terraced housing, shown from the 1912 OS map. 1930s OS mapping shows little change in the area, although the Pleasure Beach, the South Promenade and Pier had been developed during the interwar period.
An important commercial street in the South Beach area, running north-south between Waterloo Road in the north and south to the Pleasure Beach railway station. The stretch covered by the Area of Special Local Character runs from Waterloo Road to Station Road. The street was historically known as Church Street due to the presence of the grade II Holy Trinity Church, the earliest church built in South Shore. The street’s higher status in the street hierarchy is expressed in its width and in the commercial character and height and quality of the buildings.
The building line follows the back of the footway in most cases, creating a dense street scene. Properties have narrow frontages and a vertical emphasis. The grain of the area is tight with an absence of open space. The buildings are generally of three or more storeys, with a varied, lively roof line of gabled or parapet roofs.
Locally listed 29 - 31 Bond Street
Corner properties tend to be given more architectural prominence with corner features and more elaborate entrances. The buildings are a mix of brick and stone construction with red brick used for earlier buildings. Some are painted or rendered, and roofs are largely Welsh slate, with some clay and concrete tile. Almost all buildings have uPVC windows, although some timber sashes or leaded casements survive on upper floors. Upper floors generally retain historic character and features. Historic shop fronts are absent, with late 20th century signage and fascias dominating street frontages.
Locally listed Former bank, 46 Bond Street
Building uses have changed as the economic status of the street has declined, for example at least three former banks have been converted into pubs or shops.
Overall the street has positive character. Locally listed buildings include former banks and large shops including a former District Bank at No.29 and the RBS at No.87. The former Woolworth’s store on the corner with Waterloo Road has now fallen into dilapidation.
The stretch covered by the Area of Special Local Character runs from the Promenade to Lytham Road including the locally listed Royal Oak Hotel and former Palladium cinema, and 1 – 4 Royal Oak Buildings opposite.
Locally listed Royal Oak and Palladium buildings
Locally listed Talbot Court, Waterloo Road / Promanade
The street was one of the first east-west streets in South Shore to be laid out, and is shown on the 1838 Tithe map. By the late 19th century it rivalled Bond Street as a main commercial street in the area, with residential premises at the east end (beyond the Area of Special Local Character). By 1938 retailers such as Woolworths, Saxone and Boots were trading from the street, as well as independent confectioners and drapers. There was a cinema at No. 36, a bank and a post office. In the early 20th century a railway station opened at the bridge, to the east. The street is characterised by its relatively wide aspect, with buildings built up to the rear of wide footways, and the intersection of north-south side streets along its length.
The streetscape has a varied mix of buildings, with late 19th to early 20th century buildings. The locally listed former post office, and a range of 1970s shop units on the north side create variations in the roofline and scale. The former Victoria Market and post office are both prominent on the street and reflect each other in their vertical height, and the post office relates in scale to post-war 20th century buildings on the north-west side of the street. The scale throughout the rest of the street is generally of two-storey shops and commercial premises.
Locally listed former post office
Most of the commercial properties have modern fascias and shop fronts to the ground floor, with the upper floors being converted into residential flats. However, there are several positive value buildings including no. 35, formerly a car showroom, with a striking white faience façade. The 1930s former Talbot Market by renowned local architect Halstead Best on an island site to the west of Bolton Street is also of merit, and retains its original fenestration pattern of large shop windows.
Locally listed buildings include the Bull Inn, the former Post Office, former Woolworths on the corner of Bond Street, and the former bank at 44 Waterloo Road.
Historic and current uses
The 1901 Barrett Directory shows that Bond Street was an important retail street, with everything from shoemakers and stationers to grocers and banks in occupation. Waterloo Road was primarily commercial with a cinema and post office at its centre. Much of the commercial property remains in retail use, and the shopping streets remain lively, although uses have changed as the economic status of the street has declined, for example at least three former banks on Bond Street have been converted to pubs or shops.
Locally listed former bank
Materials and construction
The majority of buildings within South Shore are of red brick construction. Brickmaking became an important industry during Blackpool’s expansion, using local clay from pits shown on late 19th century maps. By 1891 there were four brickworks in the town, but these were demolished by 1910 to make way for housing development. The brick is red and smooth-faced. Moulded brick details are used on large commercial buildings such as the former Woolworth’s on Bond Street where a simple classical-style frieze is used at the entablature. The Edwardian stepped gables of 16-22 Bond Street, a former bank, are a strong townscape feature in bright red brick and moulded terracotta.
Some public buildings, particularly former banks, are faced in ashlar or pitch-faced yellow sandstone. Grade II listed Holy Trinity Church is constructed of coursed, pitch faced yellow sandstone with red sandstone dressings. A locally listed former club on the corner of Bond Street and Station Road, dating from the 1920s, is faced in pitch-faced yellow sandstone and has a wealth of ashlar pilasters, cornices, keystone, colonettes, hoodmoulds and carved details. Ashlar pilasters between the ground floor bays are visible between modern shopfronts and fascias.
The Last Orders Inn, a locally listed former bank on the corner of Bond Street and Rawcliffe Street has a rusticated ground floor of sandstone ashlar, brick to the upper floors, with sandstone ‘Gibbs’ surrounds to the windows and sandstone details.
No. 35 Waterloo Road is a good early 20th century example of the use of faience.
Locally listed former club, now apartments
Historic maps suggest that the area was in cultivation on drained moss fields prior to early 19th century development, and no earlier settlement has been recorded. The archaeological potential for the South Beach area is therefore considered to be low. However, there are a few sites in this area where relatively modern buildings have been built on the site of historic buildings, for example the site of an historic inn on the corner of Waterloo Road and Lytham Road. Any development which involves below ground works, including demolition, should include a watching brief for buildings which are known to stand on earlier sites.
Since the South Beach Historic Townscape Characterisation exercise was undertaken in 2008 there has been significant deterioration in the fabric of Waterloo Road, and particularly Bond Street. Not only has this affected the appearance of the historic shopping street generally, it has had a damaging impact on the setting of the grade II listed Holy Trinity Church on the corner of Bond Street and Dean Street, as well as on locally listed buildings on the road.
Although the loss of architectural features and historic shop fronts has diminished the historic character of the streets, they nonetheless contain several high quality buildings and many others retain historic features at first floor level and above. ‘Local listing’ as an Area of Special Local Character means that its special character will be a material consideration when development management decisions are being made.
Planning applications for works to buildings in the Area of Special Local Character will be supported for developments which preserve or enhance historic character. In particular, applications for total or partial demolition of any building in the area will take account of the impact of its removal, and the design of its replacement.
Designated and undesignated heritage assets
Holy Trinity, Bond Street/Dean Street (grade II)
Holy Trinity School, Dean Street (adjacent to church)
Harte’s Store, 7 – 11 Bond Street
Former bank, 29 – 31 Bond Street
Former bank, 46 Bond Street
Former assembly rooms, 98 – 100 Bond Street/Station Road
Former villa and bank, 87 Bond Street/22 Dean Street
Dutton Arms, Waterloo Road/441 Promenade
Bull Inn, Waterloo Road
Talbot Court, 5 – 9 Waterloo Road/Promenade
Former Post Office, 20 – 32 Waterloo Road
Former bank, 44 Waterloo Road/St Bedes Avenue
The public consultation will take place 9th February to 23rd March 2023. Any representations will be taken into consideration in the final report which will be submitted to the Planning Committee for their consideration. The Planning Committee will make recommendations to the relevant Cabinet member regarding formal adoption of the South Shore Area of Special Local Character.
Representations should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or by letter to Built Heritage and Conservation, Blackpool Council, 81 Central, 77 – 81 Church Street, Blackpool, FY1 1HU.