Changes could help protect Blackpool's 'corroding' colonnades

Two new conservation areas could be created in Blackpool in a bid to protect  more of the resort's heritage.

Wednesday, 3rd October 2018, 10:41 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd October 2018, 12:23 pm
Colonnades at Middle Walk

Residents are to be consulted over proposals to designate North Promenade and Marton Moss as specially protected areas.

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Areas created to preserve town heritage

Heritage chiefs have warned parts of the colonnades on Middle Walk are deteriorating, while a historic farmhouse on Marton Moss has fallen into neglect.

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Cabin Lift

Carl Carrington, head of planning quality and control at Blackpool Council, says in a report the town has fewer conservation areas than many towns.

Designating more areas would help ensure the character is preserved and "potentially damaging development is managed and controlled."

Mr Carrington adds: "Designation automatically entails control over the demolition of unlisted buildings, strengthens controls over minor development and gives special protection to trees within the area."

The Blackpool Historic Townscape Characterisation reports, completed in 2009, recommended more conservation areas were created.

Fishers Lane cottages

The information within the reports can also be used to support future funding bids for the historic built environment.

In recent years, new conservation areas have been created at Foxhall and Raikes Hall, and the Town Centre Conservation Area has been extended.

A six-week public consultation will now be held.

If it is decided to go ahead with the conservation areas, management plans will be produced for each area including recommendations for the protection of the heritage.

Blowing Sands on Common Edge Road

The Conservation Area Appraisals can be viewed on the council website. Feedback forms and hard copies of the appraisal documents are also available in Central Library, Queen Street and Customer First, Municipal Buildings until November 9.

People can contact the Built Heritage and Conservation Team by emailing [email protected]

North Promenade:

The proposed conservation area would run from Cocker Street in the south to Carlin Gate in the north, encompassing Gynn Square.

Among the main areas of concern are the colonnades on Middle and Lower Walk and the cabin lift.

A report says the conservation area survey revealed "poor maintenance is an issue which affects the visual amenity of the area".

The Middle Walk colonnades, which date back to 1925, need cleaning and painting, and the panelled sides and interior paths are "in poorer condition".

The report adds: "The physical fabric of the colonnades shows some minor signs of deterioration." There are "signs of the concrete itself corroding" to a minor degree.

The Lower Walk colonnades are described as "also in need of repair and redecoration".

The Grade II listed cabin lift is "in a state of disrepair with cracking to the tower, broken windows and rusting doors".

Its roof was replaced a few years ago to prevent water getting in "but the building continues to deteriorate".

The report advises: "A new use, and perhaps a new owner, needs to be found in order to ensure that the building is saved for future generations."

Marton Moss:

By contrast, Marton Moss is a semi-rural area on the edge of Blackpool which includes some of the town's earliest dwellings, and developed as a tomato-growing area.

The proposed conservation area would be between Progress Way, Common Edge Road, Division Lane and include land east of Midgeland Road.

Only a few examples of the 18th and early 19th century Fylde longhouse survive, made of sea cobbles, patched with brick and held together with lime render.

The most prominent surviving cottage is the Grade II listed Blowing Sands cottage on Common Edge Road.

Other cottages which have been preserved in a good condition include those on Fishers Lane.

But other historic buildings in the area are of concern to heritage chiefs including Midgeland Farm near School Road "which has been allowed to fall into decay."

The report adds: "Its repair and conservation should be seen as a high priority as it is one of the key historic buildings in the area".

Buildings off Division Lane have also fallen into disrepair, including Worther House described as a "fine 19th century villa" which has been uninhabited for years "and requires urgent remedial repair if it is to be saved."