THE site of a former hospital looks set to be used to help ease town centre traffic congestion.
Blackpool Council has agreed to lease land formerly occupied by the Devonshire Road Hospital for use by contractors working on the Talbot Gateway project.
Contractors will be able to park their vehicles on the land, freeing up space in other town centre car parks.
Delivery vehicles will also be able to use the site, which it is hoped will reduce congestion by creating a more easily accessible drop off point.
Coun Ivan Taylor, whose Claremont ward includes the site, said: “The main concern is disturbance in the neighbourhood and I will be seeking assurances on that.
“I would not want contractors’ vehicles using the site at nights or weekends.
“But we need the Talbot Gateway development and hopefully this will help contractors who need to access the building site.
“It will also help the Devonshire Road Hospital site which has become a bit overgrown and we would like to see the land developed permanently in the future with an appropriate use.”
The council has agreed to lease the land from the Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust for five years, with an option to pull out after two years, at an annual rent of £85,000.
Part of the cost will be passed on to the contractors, with the rest being covered by £250,000 received by the council in return for allowing easement rights at the Whyndyke Farm site where the Lancashire Care NHS Foundation is about to start building a new mental health unit.
The 3.6 acre parcel of land off Devonshire Road has been vacant since the hospital was demolished in 2005.
A report to councillors says: “Use of this site for parking of contractors’ vehicles will ensure the town centre car parks remain open for visitors to the town centre.
“Traffic congestion will be minimised if the site is used as a transit area for site deliveries.”