Barrier against ice rink plan stays put

Plans for a new ice rink at the former TVR factory on Bristol Avenue in Bispham are recommended for refusal.
Plans for a new ice rink at the former TVR factory on Bristol Avenue in Bispham are recommended for refusal.
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TOWN hall planners are once more being urged to throw out proposals for an ice rink in Blackpool.

The scheme, to convert part of the former TVR factory on Bristol Avenue, Bispham, into an Olympic-sized skating venue, will go back before Blackpool’s planning committee for the second time on Monday.

At the last meeting, councillors were divided about whether to give the project the nod, and asked for more information before making a final decision.

But planning officers have again recommended the application is refused on the grounds the site is designated for industrial use.

A report to councillors says given the shortage of available employment land within the town, allowing the rink to go ahead would “set a damaging precedent making it difficult to resist other non-employment uses being introduced into protected areas.”

But Alex Ferguson, treasurer of the Fylde Coast Figure Skating Club which has about 90 members, said Bristol Avenue was now more orientated towards leisure, with two gyms already located on the former TVR site.

She said: “In the last six years nobody has wanted the site for industrial use.

“The building would likely be left empty if this proposal is refused. It would be better to vote to allow leisure use.”

TVR closed in 2006 with the lost of around 250 jobs.

Among those objecting to the application are the owners of the Jubilee Leisure Park in Cleveleys, who have warned the development of another ice rink would be damaging to the Sub Zero skating venue located there.

The applicant wants to build an Olympic-sized rink, and a smaller studio-style rink, on the site.

Other facilities would include a 200-capacity viewing area, a cafe, skate shop and dance studios. If it went ahead, the facility would create 30 jobs.

Ward councillor Kath Rowson, who supports the application, said: “This scheme will bring employment and a lot of people have said they would like to see a leisure facility in the north part of the town.”

The two gyms and small industrial units at the front of the site would not be affected.

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