The Gazette featured landmark new plans for Blackpool town centre, airport and other areas to be redeveloped in this New Year.
Few of us could also have missed many new homes being built around Marton Moss, in rural Fylde and opposite dunes between Blackpool and St Annes.
Well, ‘Progress’ is our proud resort’s motto and things have to change as time moves on. However, let’s not obliterate what’s good from the past, like cultural terrorists.
Government may be pressing our councils into building more housing, but what about improving the old areas? These were real communities and most often better built than today’s box-like detached dwellings on isolated sites fed by highways. Let’s remember, building more housing isn’t the same as creating fresh neighbourhoods.
There are many ‘brown-field’ sites remaining before reducing our green belt but, of course, less convenient for builders to redevelop – make them!
Also it seems criminal to build on good agricultural land, sports or recreational grounds. Let’s preserve and improve those treasured amenities, with rich soil, or popular clubs, much-loved pubs and proud communities. If necessary to develop nearby, then build round them – as happens elsewhere.
This coast has a unique history. I recently celebrated it in a humorous memoir entitled Bright Lights & Pig Rustling. The book covers recent years and salutes real characters and places thriving today.
Don’t let’s turn our back on that amazing past, or fail to enjoy and learn from it.
Incidentally, signed copies are available at two such historic yet still successful community attractions: Blackpool’s oldest pub, The Saddle Inn on Whitegate Drive; and Blackpool Cricket Club, near beautiful Stanley Park. Both institutions also loom large in the narrative.
Let’s keep our story alive, to give it a happy ending.
* For Roy’s books, also visit www.royedmonds-blackpool.com, Amazon or book stores.