Legal threat over 10ft ‘Colditz’ fence

Residents of Westgate Road are furious that Blackpool Football Club have built a metal fence behind their houses without planning permission

Residents of Westgate Road are furious that Blackpool Football Club have built a metal fence behind their houses without planning permission

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BLACKPOOL Football Club has been threatened with legal action over its refusal to tear down a 10ft high fence.

Residents living adjacent to the club’s Squires Gate training ground have been left fuming after the fence was erected without planning permission.

And the row has now escalated, with Fylde Council warning the club it will face legal and enforcement action within days if it refuses to comply with the law.

Keith Butcher, whose home on Westgate Road, St Annes, backs on to the training ground, said being in his back garden is now like being trapped in “Colditz”.

He said: “They’ve refused to take it down.

“It’s disgusting, we’re neighbours of the football club. I don’t think they’re bothered and it’s totally the wrong attitude.

“It looks like Colditz our back garden now and the club need to have a bit more respect for the people around them.”

Blackpool Football Club claim the fence was erected to keep dog walkers out.

The area’s local councillor, Howard Henshaw, added: “People are very angry about it. It’s like a prison fence. The club can’t do whatever they want.”

Despite repeated letters, Fylde Council confirmed Blackpool Football Club has still failed to apply for planning permission for the structure.

Time is now running out, with just days before council officers will be granted the power to act – either through the courts or by ripping the fence down themselves. A council spokesman said the club had been given an initial 28 days to make an application –which had now expired – and now had a maximum of three weeks to respond or face enforcement action.

The spokesman added: “We feel we’ve been very patient with the club and are still willing to help them make a satisfactory application but the ball is now in their court.”

Club chairman Karl Oyston declined to comment.