Blackpool church facing the bulldozers for shop scheme
A Blackpool church is earmarked for demolition with new homes and a store proposed for the site.
Resort-based Melrose Homes has applied for planning permission to bulldoze Anchorsholme Methodist Church on North Drive and replace it with a retail unit on the ground floor and six apartments above.
Ward councillors say they are opposed to the scheme due to its impact on traffic but a planning brief accompanying the application says a transport assessment has found the scheme will “not have a significant impact” on surrounding roads.
It says sufficient parking is proposed, the site is easily accessible by public transport and the principle of residential development has already been established from previous applications.
The report adds: “The reasoning for the revised proposal is due to the Flood Zone 3 location which led to the dwellings requiring flood resilience measures to the ground floors which would make them difficult to sell.
“The current proposal for a convenience store now brings a ‘less vulnerable’ use to the ground floor, while moving the ‘more vulnerable’ residential use to the upper floors.”
But ward councillor Paul Galley said: “Not only is the site directly on a high accident rated roundabout, it’s completely out of place with the existing residential surroundings.
“Anchorsholme is extremely well served with a selection of varied retail businesses on Eastpines Drive and Anchorsholme Lane.
Some of these businesses have been owned by the same operators for many years and they will certainly be affected by any new businesses duplicating their offers.
“Parking will be a nightmare for residents living on North Drive and Luton Road East and any consideration that this business should open late or be allowed to sell alcohol will attract the same sort of issues we have seen in other parts of the town.”
The church has been vacant since last October.