Two ancient cottages of national importance have been saved from “falling down” by planning chiefs.
Blackpool Council’s planning committee threw out proposals to build eight new houses close to the Grade II listed cottages on Fisher’s Lane, off Common Edge Road, Marton Moss – which are thought to be around 300 years old and made of sea pebbles, straw and mud.
The plan had been recommended for approval by the authority’s planning officers, but councillors overruled them on the grounds that it would affect the setting of the buildings and the nature of the semi-rural area surrounding it.
The Town Hall meeting, held on Monday evening, heard from Judith Brisco, one of the cottages’ occupants, who described the fragility of the foundationless structures and the impact nearby development could have on them.
She cited 2009 research which described the buildings as “nationally important” in heritage terms.
Mrs Brisco said: “I’m concerned this planning application, if passed, will harm my cottage.
“It will fall down.”
She added: “I would urge you as a committee not to pass these plans.
“This is the heritage of Blackpool, the Moss, my generation and future generations.
“You are here and you should be protecting it.”
Debating the proposal by applicant Newfield Construction Ltd, committee chairman Coun David Owen said: “What is being urged by Mrs Brisco is we should be doing our utmost to maintain the rural aspect of that location as an example of a Moss cottage in this area and I think that is probably more important to us.”
Coun David O’Hara, who moved for refusal of the application, added: “I‘m very worried about spoiling something that’s like a little village area. Once that estate’s built that would take over.”
However Gary Johnston, the council’s head of development management, told the committee: “While I accept members’ concerns that it’s part of the Marton Moss countryside area, you’ve got to look at the particular context of development and not just use a broad brush to resist it.
“I feel it’s sustainable, it’s on a bus route, it’s close to a bus stop, you’ve got The Shovels public house on that road and the primary school’s not too far.”
Despite that, the proposal was rejected unanimously by the committee.
Speaking to The Gazette after the meeting, Mrs Brisco told of her relief, adding: “I’m just delighted.
“It’s a big relief, but the concern is if (the developer) came back.
“This council needs to protect its national heritage.”
No representative of the developer was present at the meeting.