ANGER is growing over plans to demolish offices and create a new supermarket and major new housing development.
Business leaders claim the multi-million pound proposals could drive trade out of St Annes town centre – and a brand new supermarket is not what is needed for the old Premium Bonds site on Heyhouses Lane.
But Fylde Council’s planning committee is recommended to approve the scheme – which would it is claimed would help regenerate the area – when it meets next week.
Developer Telereal Trillium wants to build 250 homes on the land, as well as building retirement flats, a 1,860sqm food store, restaurants and cafes.
But John Moxham, chairman of St Annes Chamber of Trade, told The Gazette: “I think already there are going to be some strong protests from groups in St Annes town centre.
“We’re not opposed to a development on that site but it would preferably be a business use site.
“I’ve read the application and they are going for everything – restaurants, cafes, shops, businesses, houses. They are keeping their options open.
“We’re trying to work away from out-of-town retail developments because there’s no need for it.”
The nearby Spar convenience store, on Whalley Place, has formally objected to the plans claiming it would be “exceedingly detrimental to retail sites in the area”.
Although Fylde Council’s planning team state the negatives and positives in the case are “finely balanced”, they believe the “benefits marginally outweigh the negative effects of the trade diversions away from St Annes town centre”, according to their report.
Telereal Trillium said a retail impact assessment had already shown the “proposal will not adversely impact the town centre”.
A spokesman for the company added: “The former government offices site at Heyhouses Lane has been vacant for some time, despite concerted attempts to market the space.
“By changing the way the site is used we have an opportunity to bring it back into use, so it can once again make a positive contribution to the local area.
“The proposed mixed use development will provide around 250 new homes, including affordable housing, while the healthcare and retail elements of the plan will create valuable local employment.”