Homes plan for memorial site

Local historian Mike Coyle by a derelict war memorial in the grounds of the former Co-Operative Sports and Social Club on Preston New Road in Marton, Blackpool

Local historian Mike Coyle by a derelict war memorial in the grounds of the former Co-Operative Sports and Social Club on Preston New Road in Marton, Blackpool

4
Have your say

Developers are asking residents for their views on proposals for a derelict piece of land that was found to be home to a forgotten war memorial.

The Co-operative Estates is consulting on draft plans to build new homes on the now-redundant Co-operative Sports and Social Club, on Preston New Road, Marton.

The site has been empty and the building boarded up since the club was forced to close in 2013.

Memorial enthusiast Mike Coyle called for community support after finding a stone commemorating those who lost their lives in the First World War had been left to “rack and ruin” on the site.

Now its owners are hoping to talk to neighbours and nearby residents about the plans.

And talks are ongoing to find a suitable new home for the memorial. A spokesman for the Co-operative Estates said: “The local community is invited to attend a drop-in event to view plans and speak with members of the team regarding the proposal.

“The community are encouraged to comment upon the developing masterplan.”

The owners are preparing an outline planning application for a residential development, which it is anticipated will be submitted to Blackpool Council this summer.

The club was forced to close in August 2013, when it was unable to meet debts of £42,000 and trading became “unsustainable”.

It had been opened as a social facility for Co-operative employees at the former bakery nearby, and the war memorial was unveiled in 1957 to honour the workers from the First Blackpool Co-operative Society who gave their lives in both world wars.

It has since been boarded up and the land surrounding it overgrown, leaving the memorial forgotten.

The drop-in event will be held between 4pm and 8pm on April 23 at Marton United Reformed Church on Wordsworth Avenue.

Anyone unable to attend can have their say by emailing mike.stone2@co-operative.coop or by phoning 07525 620485.