TVR homes set for rejection

The former TVR factory in Bispham, where houses could be built. Below: Coun Kath Rowson.
The former TVR factory in Bispham, where houses could be built. Below: Coun Kath Rowson.
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Proposals to build houses on part of the former TVR factory in Blackpool look set to be turned down.

Applicants The Trustees of the Wheeler Plan are seeking planning permission to build 46 homes on land to the rear of the defunct car plant on Bristol Avenue, Bispham.

Coun Kath Rowson

Coun Kath Rowson

But planners say the land should be preserved for future industrial use in order to attract new job opportunities to the town.

The council’s planning committee has been recommended to refuse the application when it goes before them at the town hall at 5pm on Monday.

A report to councillors says: “The benefits of having an alternative housing use on the site do not outweigh the need to retain the land.”

It adds the application is “opportunist” and could lead to “further applications for housing development on the remaining parts of the TVR site which would further erode the supply of industrial/business land and may lead to the loss of existing jobs on the site.”

TVR closed in 2006 with the loss of 250 jobs.

Since then the majority of the site has remained vacant, although a number of small industrial units are occupied, and there are two gyms.

A new ice rink is also currently being built on another part of the site.

The housing scheme proposes building 46 two-storey semi-detached and mews properties, with two, three or four bedrooms, with access from Ashfield Road on land currently being used by Balfour Beatty as a storage depot.

All the homes will overlook an area of open space.

Preston-based architect Cassidy and Ashton, which has designed the scheme, said the site had been marketed for industrial use but there was not enough space for potential new commercial development. But Ingthorpe councillor Kath Rowson, whose ward includes the TVR site, said it was important the town retained industrial land.

She said: “I was surprised someone wanted to put in a planning application for houses on a light industrial site such as this.

“Blackpool is always trying to encourage businesses into the town to create employment, so we can’t get rid of all the industrial land in case someone wants to bring a business into the town.

“We are continually striving to bring businesses in and you can’t do that if we haven’t got anywhere for them to go.”

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