Homes demolition set for go ahead

Residents at Windmill Caravan Park fear they could lose their homes following a planning application for a drive-thru by the nearby petrol station.  Pictured L-R are Ralph Carte, Steven Roy Gratrix and Terry Duran from the Windmill Park Residents Association.
Residents at Windmill Caravan Park fear they could lose their homes following a planning application for a drive-thru by the nearby petrol station. Pictured L-R are Ralph Carte, Steven Roy Gratrix and Terry Duran from the Windmill Park Residents Association.
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A bid to demolish a mobile home park and replace it with a drive-through coffee shop looks set to get the go ahead despite residents warning they will lose their homes.

Blackpool Council’s planning committee is being recommended to approve the application by Rontec to redevelop the land at the back of its Esso garage on Preston New Road, when it meets on Tuesday.

The scheme straddles Blackpool and Fylde boundaries and so must also go to Fylde Council for approval.

If it goes ahead, the residents of 12 mobile homes on the Windmill Caravan Park will lose their homes.

But a report to councillors says it is “a common occurence” for redevelopment “whereby existing residents are displaced” and that is a private legal matter between the residents and the site owners.

Concerns over highways issues are expected to be overcome.

Resident Steven Gratrix, son of former Blackpool footballing legend Roy Gratix, said: “I understand planners are governed by legislation but in my opinion the committee can also take into account moral issues.

“People are going to lose their homes, and the pressure from this uncertainty has already damaged people’s health.”

The lease on the site expired in January 2016 and there is currently a legal wrangle underway with the site owners seeking to take re-possession to enable development to proceed.

The caravan park is believed to have been on the land since the 1940s.

Read more about the issue here