Blackpool FC removes ‘Colditz’ fence

DO NOT USE''Residents of Westgate Road are furious that Blackpool Football Club have built a metal fence behind their houses without planning permission.  L-R is Alli Errington, Harry Errington, Joe Errington, Karen Turner, Roy Smith and Keith Butcher.

DO NOT USE''Residents of Westgate Road are furious that Blackpool Football Club have built a metal fence behind their houses without planning permission. L-R is Alli Errington, Harry Errington, Joe Errington, Karen Turner, Roy Smith and Keith Butcher.

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RESIDENTS are celebrating victory after an eyesore fence which some said had turned their homes into a prison camp was finally pulled down.

Blackpool FC had been threatened with legal action over the 10ft high fence, which was erected around its Squires Gate training ground without permission.

But now, after a long-running planning battle, the football club has finally relented – much to the delight of those living on neighbouring Westgate Road, St Annes.

Victory

Keith Butcher, who claimed the fence had turned his garden into “Colditz”, said: “It’s been taken down and they’ve put another one up exactly the same but smaller – at least it’s not that horrendous size.

“It’s better than it was, we will plant a few trees at the end of the garden and it will be fine. So it’s a bit of a victory, we really didn’t believe they would take it down because of their sheer arrogance.”

Fylde Council had threatened to take the club to court if they didn’t apply for planning permission or replace the fence with a regulation structure, which they’ve now done.

Coun Howard Henshaw, who represents the area on Fylde Council, said: “We had to chase them up because they just ignored the council’s letters, which is not good enough.

“I’m pleased it’s gone because they should never have put it up in the first place – people said it was like a prison fence.”

A council spokesman added: “We’re pleased the club has now complied but the whole issue could have been avoided if they had got the correct planning permission in the first place.”

No-one from the club was available for comment.