Heritage list could veto bowling plan

Residents want to halt plans for homes on a bowling green at the Layton Institute.
Residents want to halt plans for homes on a bowling green at the Layton Institute.
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PLANS to build homes on a bowling green look set to be thrown out amid fears the development would lead to the loss of a key heritage site.

Councillors are being urged to refuse the application for seven two-storey houses on Layton Institute Bowling Green, Westcliffe Drive, Blackpool.

The institute, which was built in 1925, is set to be given protected status as part of a local list of important buildings in the town.

Although having less weight than an English Heritage listed status, the local listings will be a consideration when it comes to conserving landmarks.

A report to Blackpool Council’s planning committee says the institute and bowling green are “on an emergency draft local list which has been compiled for buildings of significant local architectural or historic interest which are perceived to be under threat”.

It adds the development would have a “detrimental visual impact” and significantly reduce the “historic interest and would give the site a cramped appearance.”

Residents in Granby Avenue, which overlooks the bowling green, are opposed to the development, and today welcomed the recommendation.

Jimmy Hetherington said: “I think the only sensible decision is to reject the application because the development would mean the loss of a local amenity.

“We also feel the houses would be too close to the institute and it would be very noisy for anyone living there.

“I hope the committee follows the recommendation, the residents would be ecstatic if that is what they do.”

Members of the Layton Institute voted in January to sell the green which it says it can no longer afford to maintain.

They say it costs several thousand pounds a year to look after the pitch.

Bowlers have now been forced to find new clubs in order to carry on playing the game.

The applicant wants to build a terrace of three homes and a pair of semi-detached houses on the land, along with three garage blocks providing room for seven vehicles, landscaping, and access from Granby Avenue.

They say the development, which is due before the committee next Monday, has been designed to fit in with the existing architecture of the area, and that the site is close to transport links.