An historic archway has been saved after planning chiefs rejected proposals to widen it as part of a new housing development.
Members of Fylde Council’s development management committee threw out plans for seven new homes on land to the rear of the Hillside restaurant (also formerly the Cube bar), a Grade II listed building, at its meeting yesterday.
During a debate on the proposal, which lies in a conservation area and had initially been earmarked for approval by planning officers, Coun Liz Oades branded the applicant’s plans for the Preston Street site “totally unacceptable”.
Coun Oades, who sits on the committee, but also serves as the councillor for Kirkham South, said: “Kirkham is the earliest established community in Fylde, and one of the earliest in Lancashire.
“The building is listed because of its historical importance.”
The building and its surroundings date from the early 19th century.
The applicant, Paul Mellor, had proposed to extend the archway to allow easier access for traffic, as well as the felling of several protected trees.
Coun Oades: “I personally would not like to see any building in this garden area. The message should get back to the applicant that this is totally unacceptable.
“When the applicant bought this building he knew it was listed, and knew it was in a conservation area.
“That status puts a great onus on people who live there to protect the buildings because they are privileged to live in an area like that.”
Coun Trevor Fiddler, Fylde Council’s portfolio holder for planning and development, told the committee: “The archway is such a fundamental, integral part of the local character of that listed building.
“I can’t go along with interfering with it.”
The application was unanimously refused.
A separate application, which is yet to be determined, has been submitted to Fylde Council by the same applicant to convert the building itself into five flats.
The building has been closed since 2009. A previous scheme to turn it into a nursing home was scrapped due to a lack of interest.