Housing plan is set for go ahead

Baguleys Garden Centre on Midgeland Road where  houses could be built.
Baguleys Garden Centre on Midgeland Road where houses could be built.
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A bid to build homes on a garden centre looks set to go ahead despite fears the move will lead to the loss of countryside on the edge of Blackpool.

Councillors are being recommended to approve a planning application for 36 homes on the site currently occupied by Baguleys Garden Centre on Midgeland Road, Marton.

The plans submitted by Denmack Holdings have previously been thrown out twice by Blackpool’s planning committee which wanted to protect the character of Marton Moss.

But after Kensington Developments won permission to build 83 houses on adjacent land at Runnell Farm following an appeal against refusal of that application, the committee is being recommended to give the scheme the go ahead when it meets next Monday.

Blackpool Council planning chairman Coun David Owen said; “The principles that caused the committee to refuse previous applications for this site, in our judgement remain, but we have to take into account the planning climate nationally.

“There is a big risk if we maintain our objections we could lose out on appeal and have to pay substantial costs.

“It would clearly be reckless not to bow to the prevailing wind.”

Twenty objections to the scheme have been received.

Among the issues raised are the loss of countryside, increase in traffic, increased flood risk and impact on wildlife.

Objectors include John Rose of Furry Tails Feline Welfare which operates a cattery on nearby Stockydale Road.

In a letter of objection, he says: “We can see no good reason why the current proposals should not be refused for substantially the same reasons as the previous applications.”

A report to the committee says the approval of the Runnell Farm scheme weakens the council’s stance because “the site effectively now represents an infill plot between Midgeland Road and Stockydale Road.”

The report adds: “It is not considered the proposal would have an adverse impact on the rural character of the wider Marton Moss countryside area sufficient to outweigh the contribution the scheme would make towards meeting Blackpool’s housing requirement.”

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