Co-op plan for Blackpool is rejected over fears for other traders

A CGI of how the Co-op might have looked
A CGI of how the Co-op might have looked
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A bid to build a Co-op store on the site of a former church has been thrown out after fears were raised the scheme would increase traffic dangers and put existing shops out of businesss.

Blackpool Council's planning committee refused an application by Melrose Developments Ltd for a single storey building on the site of Anchorsholme Methodist Church on North Drive.

The development had been recommended for approval by planning officers but councillors sided with residents who warned the scheme was not wanted by the community.

More than 100 letters of objection had been sent to the council opposing the application for the store.

Lynne Hardman, representing residents, said supermarkets including Lidl, Morrison's and Sainsbury's already had stores nearby, while the committee was told Marks and Spencer had recently extended its lease in Cleveleys.

There were also worries the One Stop Shop in East Pines Drive could close if its trade was hit by the new arrival, which would also mean the loss of the Post Office it housed.

Coun Tony Williams said there had been at least one fatal accident at the junction the site sits on, while Graeme Dow, head teacher of Anchorsholme Academy primary school, also submitted an objection.

He said: "I feel strongly the introduction of a mini supermarket is going to increase traffic and parking issues which will raise the threat level of serious

injury to pedestrians and road traffic accidents.

"Children are not as road savvy as most adults and I feel that increasing the potential for traffic related issues would significantly increase the risks for our children."

Leon Armstrong, agent for the applicant, said their analysis had shown the development would "not cause a significant adverse impact on the existing local centre."

He said the building had been reduced in scale and would be "a welcome addition to the area".

He added: "I believe our proposal offers sustainable development providing a convenience store within walking distance for many residents to meet their day-to-day needs."