Soon, all trace of a Fylde coast holiday landmark will be gone.
For more than 40 years up to 2009, the Pontin’s holiday camp just inside the Fylde boundary from Blackpool’s South Shore reverberated to the sound of fun and laughter as visitors galore revelled in the wide range of facilities at the extensive site facing the dunes on Clifton Drive North.
After the closure of the camp almost four years ago, with the loss of 70 jobs, the site deteriorated into a major eyesore but outline planning permission granted last April by Fylde Council for 348 homes in two stages offered hope of a brighter future.
Now landowner Northern Trust has said it hopes to have the site cleared before the end of the year, when it is intended to apply for detailed permission for the housing development.
A Northern Trust spokesman said: “A detailed planning application will be submitted prior to Christmas, when it is envisaged demolition work will be complete.”
The clearance of the site as it is prepared for a new era has been welcomed by ward councillor Angela Jacques (pictured), a former mayor of St Annes, who said: “Clifton Drive North is a vital gateway to St Annes and Lytham and the site as it looks now doesn’t give a good impression at all to visitors and hasn’t for some time. The sooner what remains of the Pontin’s buildings are cleared and homes built there the better.”
Outline planning permission granted
Outline permission for homes was granted in April by Fylde Council’s development management committee – despite bosses at the adjacent Blackpool Airport objecting to the plans because they fear it will lead to more noise complaints and reduce their capacity to expand.
Councillors also raised the issue of keeping bedrooms cool during the summer as residents would not be able to open their windows without being disrupted by the noise of passing aircraft.
But Mark Evans, Fylde Council’s head of planning and regeneration, said it was “important to bear in mind there are a whole raft of ways to deal with noise.”
Paul Rankin, director of Blackpool Airport, said at the time of the outline permission being granted that he was disappointed with the decision and that airport officials would take advice from their planning advisors.