Outrage over ‘ugly box’ on the prom

Chairman Margaret Daniels and Treasurer Ian Johnstone next to the offending box
Chairman Margaret Daniels and Treasurer Ian Johnstone next to the offending box
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THIS ugly grey box in the middle of a conservation area has left Fleetwood Civic Society outraged.

It is in the shadow of one of the town’s most historic buildings – the North Euston Hotel.

And its appearance comes after months of planning wrangles to ensure an adjoining electricity sub-station looked just right.

Fleetwood Town Council is to raise the matter with Blackpool Transport which installed the isolator box.

But Margaret Daniels, chairman of the civic society, fears it may be too late to move it.

She said: “It’s an outrage against a conservation area – it’s very insensitive to put it where they have.

“We fought hard for the substation to get in keeping with the area. This spoils it.

“It’s also an invitation to the spray painters. It has been put in the cheapest possible place. It might be legal but it’s not right.

“If you look at the original plans there is a little dot that says RI but there is not explanation. There was nothing to say how big it was.

“I would like some pressure on Blackpool Transport to get them to put it to a less conspicuous place in the conservation area. We have got the substation better, now they come and put this metal box in front of it.”

The box is in a tourist area and close to the Cafe Royal on Bold Street. Kate Smith, from the cafe, said: “We coped with all the tramworks for years and that was bad enough.

“Now we have this great box landing in front of it.”

Coun Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for streets and transport, said: “Trackside isolators are required to be located within a close proximity to the substation and the tram lines so they are readily accessible to those working on the tramway, for safety and access reasons.

“We have worked closely with Lancashire County and Wyre Borough to ensure there were no outstanding issues and no objections were raised. We satisfied all planning regulations and have no plans to move the isolator.

“Furthermore, following considerable investment in the area we have built the tramway substation in keeping with the North Euston Hotel and have improved the surrounding area.”

Chris Anslow Lancashire’s, public transport development manager, said: “The isolator is a component integral to the safe operation of the substation which is why we’ve allowed it to be located on a piece of land belonging to the county council.”