Lytham's AXA site flats bid halted after latest planning rejection by Fylde Council

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Plans to turn former offices in Lytham into 97 flats have been thrown out by Fylde Council for the second time, over highway safety concerns.

The application to convert the former AXA insurance offices, in Ballam Road, was refused because the authority was concerned documents didn’t clearly show how accessible the site was for pedestrians and motorists.

The AXA offices, Lytham

The AXA offices, Lytham

A planning office spokesman for Fylde Council said: “The application that was submitted sought to change of use of the office building to 97 flats using a ‘prior approval’ procedure.

“This requires the council to assess if there are any transport or highway impacts that needed further consideration.

“In this case the council was concerned that the details provided did not give satisfactory clarification that the site was readily accessible for all pedestrians and vehicle users.

“It is expected that further dialogue between the applicant and council staff will take place in the coming weeks on this matter, which may result in a new application being made.”

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Lancashire County Council told The Gazette support could not be given to the application at this stage.

A spokesman for the county-wide authority said: “The highways department is of the opinion that the proposed change of use from offices to 97 residential dwellings will have an adverse impact on highway safety for pedestrians within the site and fails to adequately promote safe and sustainable travel by modes other than car and as such fails to meet the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework.

“At this stage LCC Highways cannot support this application and consider that the proposal needs to be supported with a full Transport Assessment.”

Fylde Council refused a similar application in July, due to both flooding and highway concerns.

Another application was submitted for the housing redevelopment in March but it was later withdrawn by the applicant.

The four-storey building has been unused for more than two years after AXA closed its offices, which it shared with other businesses, in 2016.

The majority of the 355 jobs at the site were transferred to Bolton.