New homes bid for Bonds ice cream site at Elswick

It was once on every Lancashire ice cream lover's map.

Simon Rigby (right) pictured with former Bonds' owner Martin Molloy
Simon Rigby (right) pictured with former Bonds' owner Martin Molloy

Now a second planning application is being made to build eight homes at the Bond’s site in Elswick, near Preston.

Site owner entrepreneur and former Preston Guild Hall operator Simon Rigby says the planning application is only an “ insurance policy” in case a new tenant is not found for the Bond’s restaurant.

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Meanwhile he stressed ice cream sales will continue from the kiosk at the Bonds Lane site.

The application before Fylde Council seeks, in effect, to restore a previous permission which has now expired.

Outline planning permission for a residential development of eight homes on the prime site and demolition of existing buildings was granted in February,2016 following an application from then site owner Martin Molloy.

When Simon Rigby bought the site he stressed his intention was to keep the ice cream site’s restaurant and kiosk, rather than develop the site.

But the restaurant, let to tenant Ross Wallis is now closed and an application has been made to Companies House to strike off his company Bonds Ice Cream Ltd.

Mr Rigby said: “We are seeking to renew the (planning) permission.Our Bonds company is still going. We have got a tenant for the kiosk.There’s a tenant in there trading very happily.

The ice cream sales are back and we’re very confident we’ve got a tenant for the restaurant as well. That’s our plan A. We just wanted to have a plan B ...It’s just an insurance policy so the site remains of value to us.”

* Ice cream is no longer made at the Bonds site.