People power wins out over homes bid

Councillors and residents at the piece of land between'Kilnhouse Lane and Blackpool Road North, St Annes.
Councillors and residents at the piece of land between'Kilnhouse Lane and Blackpool Road North, St Annes.
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NEIGHBOURS are celebrating after a major power supplier scrapped plans to build new homes on a patch of green space.

Residents living around Kilnhouse Lane and Blackpool Road North in St Annes objected to Electricity North West’s plans to build three detached houses on land they believe should be designated a village green.

Planning officers at Fylde Council suggested the owner reconsider the plans, and build two bungalows instead to be more in-keeping with the surrounding area.

But instead, the plans have now been withdrawn.

In its letter to the council’s planning department, Electricity North West’s agent A A Hatton and Associates said: “Having considered your proposals for a reduced scheme, my client is firmly of the opinion that the reduction will not be economic and this, linked with the local objections to the application, means he has instructed me to withdraw the application with immediate effect.”

The land owner also told The Gazette it was sure a scheme could be developed for the site which would benefit both the company and the community.

But Elizabeth Clarke’s Kilnhouse Lane flat overlooks the green.

She said: “We are absolutely delighted they have withdrawn the plans, it’s just wonderful.

“This just shows that a little bit of people power can go a long way when you are organised.”

A local action group submitted an application to Lancashire County Council to have the land declared village green in September.

It is waiting for an answer.

The group hopes, if the application is successful, to get funding for new benches and shrubs to make the green nicer.

Coun Karen Henshaw, who represents Kilnhouse on Fylde Council, said the area is used regularly by members of the public.

She added: “I am so thrilled. This area of open space has been used for more than 50 yeas by children, dog walkers and the general public. I think the people living around here were so upset about the plans, they are now going to be very pleased.

“Lets hope we can help make the area much more attractive.”

A spokesman for Electricity North West said: “The application for permission to build three houses was withdrawn on February 8 after the local authority reduced the scheme to just two properties.

“We are confident that a scheme, which will be beneficial to all parties, is possible for this site and we will be considering further options and will liaise fully with all involved.”

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