By Rob Fail of Cleveleys
The Gazette recently reported Wyre Council is considering placing a car park on Jubilee Gardens in Cleveleys.
The proposed car park is actually a large piece of land within the boundary of Jubilee Gardens used for many years as tennis courts.
Since opening in 1937, the park has served the local community and visitors very well with a lot of features that are no longer present.
This was destroyed when Wyre Council decided to develop a leisure complex that was poorly designed and not a fitting backdrop to the widely acclaimed promenade enhancement scheme.
Had it not been for the many objections to this scheme, Jubilee Gardens would have ceased to exist and been obliterated by concrete.
The park is shadow of its former self and shows what happens when responsibility is given to people without the imagination of predecessors who designed and created Jubilee Gardens.
This isn’t the first attempt by Wyre Council to push something through. They tried it in 2004 and again in 2007, when a proposal for a car and coach park was dropped.
Now the Promenade work compound is no longer required, this council has a perfect opportunity to return the park to its former glory, rather than put a car park on land earmarked for leisure and which must be preserved for future generations.
It is funny how a new car park is now required when this council has dismissed the need in the past.
In 2004, 2,000 people objected to the loss of the North Promenade Beach Hut car park adjacent to Jubilee Gardens. The council considered its loss was acceptable, because it felt that any demand could be provided for by other car parks in the town centre and by intended car and coach parking facilities along the redeveloped Prom.
The Council has had at least two opportunities (cinema complex and Prom redevelopment) to consider parking requirements.
As I wrote in 2007: “One can only conclude that this council has either incompetently misjudged the parking requirements on at least two separate occasions or has planned all along to destroy a substantial part of Jubilee Gardens.”
The electorate must be fully consulted before radical decisions are taken as we do not want a further blot on our seafront.
Why not ask Blackpool Council to close down the free caravan park along Anchorsholme Promenade, thereby providing all the car parking space our council says we need?