Residents have won the first round of a battle to prevent a Blackpool church being bulldozed and replaced with a shop

Anchorsholme Methodist Church
Anchorsholme Methodist Church
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Controversial plans to demolish a Blackpool church and replace it with a shop and apartments have been withdrawn by the developer.

Around 70 letters of objection had been submitted to Blackpool Council opposing proposals by Melrose Homes to redevelop Anchorsholme Methodist Church on North Drive.

Town hall planners had recommended the scheme, for a one to two-storey building with three two-bedroom flats above, was refused by the council's planning committee which had been due to consider the application on Tuesday. (Nov 13)

Among their concerns was the impact on existing nearby shopping areas.

Ward councillors Tony Williams and Paul Galley had also spoken out against the proposals.

Coun Williams said: "I am pleased the current application has been withdrawn as a small supermarket on this site is wholly inappropriate both as a suitable development and in accordance with the local plan.

"However, I understand a revised application has been suggested which I hope will also be recommended for refusal.

"Both Paul Galley and I, together with more than 70 local residents, are against any retail scheme for this site and will actively oppose any new application."

Fears included the impact on traffic, especially on a nearby roundabout which was described as "an accident blackspot".

However a planning brief accompanying the application said a transport assessment found the scheme would “not have a significant impact” on surrounding roads.

Melrose Homes said sufficient parking was proposed, the site is easily accessible by public transport and the principle of residential development had already been established from previous applications.

The developer has now submitted a revised scheme for the site comprising of just a single storey retail building.

But planners said the late submission of the amendment meant it was too late to consider the new proposal at Tuesday's meeting.