Blackpool Council and UKAP (Blackpool) Holdings Limited have exchanged contracts on a six year lease over the land which if the Adrenalin World and holidays lodges planned for the site go-ahead, then will pave the way for a 175 year lease on the land.
The plan comes from Holmes Investment Properties Plc (HIP) and the company said that prior to any planning application being submitted to the council, there will be an “extensive pre-application consultation” on the plans where the public can view the proposals and provide feedback.
But the move, opposed by many in the town due to loss of nine holes of the golf course and open green space, plus noise and traffic fears near the hospital, has drawn fresh fir from opposition councillors.
HIP said the consultation will begin in October and will feature meetings with local groups, a public exhibition and a consultation website.
Michael Simmonds, chief executive of HIP said: “We are very pleased to be moving forward with the project at Stanley Park Golf Course and look forward to sharing our exciting plans with the public in the coming weeks to create a unique new leisure destination for Blackpool.”
But Coun Tony Williams leader of the opposition Conservative group, said: “I’m afraid that this doesn’t come as good news to me and I would guess many others in the town.
“HIP said they would be submitting their planning application in May and to be honest when this didn’t happen I had hoped the whole scheme had been shelved.
“This isn’t just a political objection against this Labour Council, as I know for a fact that some Labour councillors do not want this development to go ahead, but they are whipped into agreement.
“If we were in power we would be giving this beautiful green space back to the people of Blackpool as an ‘Eco Wood’ with many more trees, picnic areas, adventure trails, scouts and guide facilities, a green cafe, increased wild life and hands on education centres.
“This site is right next door to the cardiac unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital it is without question the wrong development in the wrong place.
"This council is selling off our green space and our heritage for a few pieces of silver depriving our children and their children of enjoying what could be a stunning ecological doorway to what is currently a dwindling world of nature.
"This Labour council should hang their heads in shame. Quite frankly I am disgusted with their arrogant contempt of the people of Blackpool.”
Coun Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “I am pleased that the public will get the chance to see for themselves the proposals for the eastern side of Stanley Park Golf Club.
“I hope that when the public consultation starts next month that people will take the opportunity to view the proposals and make up their own mind on any potential benefits that the development can bring to residents and visitors to Blackpool.”