Rink supporters celebrate go-ahead

Members of the Fylde Coast Figure Skating Club add their voices to supporters of a bid to convert part of the former TVR factory into an ice rink.

Members of the Fylde Coast Figure Skating Club add their voices to supporters of a bid to convert part of the former TVR factory into an ice rink.

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PLANS for a new ice rink in Blackpool have been given the final thumbs-up after the Government decided against intervening.

The scheme to convert the former TVR car factory on Bristol Avenue, Bispham, won the backing of Blackpool Council’s planning committee last month, much to the delight of the Fylde coast’s young skaters.

But fears the victory could be shortlived were sparked when the Government stepped in to look into the decision.

This week the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) decided against calling the matter in to the Secretary of State.

Planning committee member, Coun Tony Lee, said common sense had prevailed.

He said: “This is great news. The rink is not being pulled in so it looks like we can go ahead with the plans now.”

The Fylde Coast Figure Skating Club has always backed the plans for the new Olympic-sized rink.

Treasurer Alex Ferguson said: “At last we can breathe a sigh of relief and celebrate.

“The councillors did their job, and they did it well.

“The Fylde Coast figure Skating Club can now have its lovely new home – a fabulous asset for the Fylde coast.”

But the news has not been met with such joy elsewhere.

Greig Appleby, director at Sub Zero Cleveleys said: “This will affect jobs at the historic Blackpool ice rink along with Cleveleys, and the associated businesses around them.”

Blackpool Council’s planning officers advised the planning committee against granting planning permission, as the empty TVR site was earmarked for industrial development.

A spokesman said: “In February, the planning application for an ice rink was approved subject to conditions, but the decision was not issued because DCLG became involved.

“Following a review of the application by the DCLG, we can now confirm they are happy for us to proceed to issue the decision.”

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