A FORMER Blackpool FC footballer today welcomed a decision by planners not to allow flats to be built next door to his home.
Dave Bamber was among 19 residents who objected to the proposals by the St Annes-based developers Newfield Jones Homes.
They had applied to Blackpool Council for permission to knock down an existing four-bedroom house on Newton Drive described as an "architectural gem" and replace it with a three and four-storey building.
But neighbours of the 500,000 house objected to the plans for the 14 apartments, amid fears the scheme would lead to loss of light and privacy, and would add to parking and traffic problems.
Blackpool's development control committee refused the proposals on the grounds it would "not make a positive contribution to the streetscene and would not lift the quality of new building design."
Afterwards Mr Bamber – a star striker for Pool in the 1980s and early 1990s – said it would have set a precedent of allowing developers to build in gardens in residential areas.
He said: "Once one property went, it would have led to the demise of other quality homes.
"I don't think Blackpool can afford to lose good family homes and have them replaced with more and more flats.
"There are plenty of better brownfield sites for builders to use instead.
"A total of 19 residents objected so I think this showed the strength of feeling.
"We are all relieved at this decision and would like to thank the help we got from our ward councillors Roy Haskett and Sue Ridyard."
A planning report stated that while the existing house was not listed, or within a conservation area, it did "contribute positively to the inherent high quality of the streetscene locally."
It added: "The principle of redevelopment is accepted, but the replacement development must lift, rather than lower, quality."
No-one was available from Newfield Jones Homes for comment.