Frontierland shops start date put back to 2016

The Polo Tower.
The Polo Tower.

Work on a new shopping park at Morecambe’s former Frontierland site has been delayed until the new year.

Developers of the £17m Bay Shopping Park said “practical hurdles” had slowed down talks with shops.

Our agreement with EE means we can plan to remove the Polo Tower in the New Year and is another significant milestone

Opus North spokesman

But Opus North said they still planned to sign up “a range of recognised names” for the seafront complex. They will also appoint a building firm after contracts go out to tender later in September.

The Yorkshire-based developer had originally hoped to start work on the new retail park of shops, restaurants and a Premier Inn hotel later this month.

But obstacles including delays to plans to demolish the Polo Tower have stalled the scheme until the new year.

Telecoms giant EE (formerly Orange) are using the 168ft Polo tube as a mast.

Their contract was thought to have expired in 2013 but a spokesman for Opus North said this week that EE would finally vacate the site in January 2016.

The Polo Tower had been earmarked for demolition two years ago amidst safety fears.

Residents complained that the landmark was swaying and creaking noises could be heard. Structural engineers found there was no imminent danger. But at the time, owners Morrisons told Lancaster City Council that they believed the tower should still be pulled down.

“Our agreement with EE means we can plan to remove the Polo Tower in the New Year and is another significant milestone,” said the spokesman for Opus North.

“The tendering process is an important step towards getting started on site. It involves a significant outlay for us as developers and is a clear statement of our intent to deliver this development for Morecambe. Local and regional firms are encouraged to put in their bids. We are making progress with council officers on the discharge of planning conditions and details of the highway improvements to Marine Drive. Inevitably, practical hurdles such as these can slow down negotiations with retailers. But following the announcement that Premier Inn will be coming to Morecambe we are continuing to finalise agreements with a range of recognised names.”

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