Blackpool residents homes to be lost as coffee plan agreed

Ralph Carte, Steven Roy Gratrix and Terry Duran from the Windmill Park Residents Association.
Ralph Carte, Steven Roy Gratrix and Terry Duran from the Windmill Park Residents Association.
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Residents look set to lose their homes after petrol station chiefs won their battle to build a drive-thru coffee shop.

READ MORE: New fight to prevent homes being demolished for coffee shop

Steven Roy Gratrix.

Steven Roy Gratrix.

Rontec has won its appeal against a decision by Blackpool Council to refuse planning permission for the scheme.

The company wants to develop land at the back of the Esso garage on Preston New Road in Marton meaning the demolition of the Windmill Caravan Park.

Blackpool’s planning committee rejected an application for the scheme last June amid fears over the impact on highways, and on residents.

But planning inspector Debbie Moore has allowed the appeal, and says “It has not been demonstrated that the development would have an adverse effect on highway or pedestrian safety.”

A Costa drive-thru at Robin Retail Park in Wigan

A Costa drive-thru at Robin Retail Park in Wigan

Windmill Caravan Park resident Steven Gratrix, who is the son of former Blackpool footballer Roy Gatrix and who has led the campaign against the plans, said people were devastated by the outcome.

He said: “We’re bitterly disappointed that a coffee shop is more greatly valued than elderly and disabled people’s homes of over 20 years which are to be demolished.

“There has been no mention of compensation or even a monetary offer as a ‘goodwill’ gesture on moral grounds.

“I do believe this will be the site of many an accident in the future especially when new homes are built and the current junction opens onto more lanes of traffic.”

Park history

The caravan park, containing 12 mobile homes, is believed to have been on the land since the 1940s.