Big backlash over ‘ERNIE’ homes plans

The National Savings building in Marton which is set to be demolished

The National Savings building in Marton which is set to be demolished

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More than 80 residents have signed a petition protesting at plans to redevelop the Premium Bonds site for housing.

As revealed in yesterday’s Gazette, Rowland Homes wants to build 118 houses on the land off Mythop Road.

If it gets the go ahead, the scheme will see the famous eight-storey tower on the National Savings site - home to ERNIE - demolished.

But residents of Wheatlands Crescent, Kipling Drive, Paddock Drive, Preston New Road and Grizedale Road have signed a petition opposing the proposals.

A letter to Blackpool Council’s planning department says there are fears about the impact of the development on traffic levels which it is claimed will increase, while residents are also warning that wildlife could be disturbed.

The letter says additional traffic junctions would hold up drivers.

It adds: “Tourist traffic uses Preston New Road to access Blackpool town centre, which adds to the congestion and would be impacted by further controlled access at the proposed site.

“This is near existing traffic lights at Mythop Road junction.”

Referring to wildlife, the protesters say development would “cause major disturbance” while there are also concerns about flooding.

The application, which has been made jointly by Rowland Homes and National Savings and Investments (NS&I), says a new road junction will be created off Preston New Road and controlled by traffic lights.

It adds measures will be incorporated to minimise the risk of flooding and says the development has been designed “to have a minimal impact on the ecological value of the site.”

Trees will be retained and new tree planting will be carried out, largely using native species, as part of the landscaping proposals for the whole site.