Blackpool enterprise zone gets double green light

A public consultation session at Blackpool and The Fylde College on the airport enterprise zone
A public consultation session at Blackpool and The Fylde College on the airport enterprise zone
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Progress on the Blackpool Airport enterprise zone has taken a double step forward after its master plan was given the thumbs up.

Both Blackpool Council and Fylde Council have approved the overall details of the huge 144 hectare site which straddles both boroughs.

An aerial view of the enterprise zone

An aerial view of the enterprise zone

It aims to create 3,000 jobs over its 25 year lifespan, and attract £300m of private investment with its offer of tax and rates rebates.

Some details have been changed from the original plan following a consultation period.

Members of the public and businesses were concerned about several aspects of the initial draft.

One was that new commercial buildings on the site might overshadow local homes.

Another was that the airport’s runways, including the crosswind runway which was deleted from some of the draft illustrations, should be retained for aviation purposes.

Many people were concerned about the effect of traffic from a new entry to the airport site at Common Edge Road might have.

While any individual work on the site would have to pass planning permission, the amended report states: “Where reasonably possible the master plan could be amended to address amenity concerns from nearby residential properties.”

One area in particular was near Oakwood Close at the eastern side where the layout of industrial buildings could be changed and landscaping introduced.

On the airport operation front, it states amendments should be made ‘to confirm the retention of the crosswind runway’ and to carry out a further detailed investigation into aviation activities.

It adds: “The master plan should be changed to increase the area or distance between the proposed airport operational buildings and the residential properties along the Western boundary.”

It also adds that a passing loop on the Blackpool South rail line and improvements at Blackpool South station should be included to help with access to the site.

Mark Smith, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and economic development, said: “The consultation process is an important part of ensuring the master plan is fit for purpose and provides the best framework for optimising the benefits of the Blackpool Airport EnterpriseZone.

“Having undertaken a full consultation exercise we were very pleased with the level of response and we have made amendments to the master plan to address the issues raised, all of which will help to strengthen its role going forward as we move towards implementation.”

See also: This is how the airport enterprise zone could look