Car parking plan for landmark site

Lytham looking north along the Green

Lytham looking north along the Green

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A FAMOUS landmark could be used as a car park during the Open Golf.

Lytham Green is being prepared to hold hundreds of cars throughout the tournament, which begins on Sunday, as wet weather takes its toll on planned sites.

Fylde Council says record breaking wet weather has led to a section between the walled “triangle” and Charlie’s Mast on the Green being prepared for vehicles.

This comes as North Houses car park was forced to close because of the downpours.

Allan Oldfield, chief executive of the authority, said: “A number of major outdoor public events have experienced cancellations and traffic problems because of the unusually wet weather.

“We don’t want to be turning people away from The Open because of a lack of suitable car-parking.

“The well-drained nature of the sand-based soil and the Green’s elevated position means it will remain firm even in severe wet conditions.

“We have worked closely with The Open Championship organisers to find the best alternative option.

“Additional parking on the Green will only be used as the last resort once all other car-parking spaces have been exhausted.”

Robert Silverwood (pictured), chairman of Lytham Chamber of Trade, said: “Considering the green is such a special place, it’s surprising they are planning on putting cars on it.

“On a dry day they would probably be able to drive on and off without any trouble, but at the moment it’s very wet.

“They would be parking on there for seven or eight days and if there’s any damage someone will have to make sure it’s repaired.

“This will only happen under special circumstances and they have to park somewhere and have to take great care.

“If they charge a fee to park they can use that to repair the grass or put it into making something nice for the town.”

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Ian Thompson, duty manager of the Clifton Park Hotel, says the plans would stop congestion on Lytham roads and prevent people from parking in the hotel’s car park.

He said: “I think it’s a good idea because it will alleviate some of the parking problems around here.

“The green is more sand based than anything so the weather seems to dry into it rather than water log it.

“Surrounding residents will be quite happy with the decision because there’s going to be a lot of congestion on the streets.”

Mr Thompson has called on the council to make parking on the green a permanent feature to help traders and hoteliers.

He added: “The council didn’t do this last time and from my point of view they do need to change parking arrangements because we are the ones who suffer.

“We always get a lot of people parking at our hotel and even though it’s a private car park they still use it and abuse it.”

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