RESIDENTS fighting to stop a new supermarket they believe would destroy their community have been granted a reprieve.
Blackpool councillors voted to delay their decision on plans to demolish The Old Bank, on Warley Road, to make way for a new supermarket amid concerns about the loss of on-street parking.
The plans were recommended for approval at Tuesday night’s meeting, but local residents claim the shop – which is likely to become home to a national company widely rumoured to be a leading supermarket – is not appropriate.
Mark Courtney-Massey, who runs Spartan Sunbeds with his partner Adrian on Dickson Road, said: “It is a tight-knit community. What is going to happen with parking issues and will that have a knock-on effect on other businesses? There are already local supermarkets there which facilitate the community and if a multi-national comes into the area eventually jobs will be lost.”
The new store sits just outside Blackpool Council’s Dickson Road local centre –the area designated for retail – but councillors said this was not a strong enough reason to turn it down.
Stuart Binks, from Blackpool-based applicant Keyworker Homes, stressed the new development would create jobs and said: “There’s a commitment from the company to invest in a scheme of this size and it’s one which should be encouraged, not discouraged.
“It will help deliver economic benefits to the surrounding community.”
However, councillors were concerned although the new development would provide 12 car on-site car parking spaces, it would result in the loss of on-street car parking around the site.
Coun Christine Wright said: “I would like to see us go back and look at how many parking spaces are lost within the street, because that site is well used by cars as it is.
“I propose we defer it while we look to see what we would be losing.”
And Coun David Owen said he wished the applicants had been more “imaginative” with the “bland and boring” single-storey design of the building.
A decision on the planned store will now be made at a future meeting.