Blackpool Airport sports facility receives the go ahead from council's planning team

Plans for a £5m new sports facility at Blackpool Airport have been given the seal of approval from the council.

Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 12:30 pm

It is the second development phase for new sports facilities at the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone, part of which is in the Fylde Borough. Fylde's planning officers approved the development last month.

It means the area to the east of the airport will get new changing rooms, a 3G sports pitch, a rugby pitch and a rugby training area as well as a 194-space car park on land off Common Edge Road in Marton.

Work will be carried out to improve access to the site and the nearby road will be widened and a footpath and cycleway installed to improve safety.

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Cassidy and Ashton's new sports facilities at Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone

It follows concerns that the development would see increased traffic on an already busy road, however Lancashire County Council has said they are happy with the project going ahead.

Phil Durnell, director of the county's highways and transport team, said: "I consider that the principle of the proposal is acceptable, subject to the agreement and provision of a highway improvement scheme including the site access with Queensway and Common Edge Road, together with necessary traffic regulation.

"In addition, the proposal will require a comprehensive car park management strategy (to be developed and agreed with the planning authority in consultation with the highway authority) which includes the delivery of a footpath to provide direct connection between the northern car park, off Jepson Way, and the proposed sports pitches.

"I consider these and a number of other matters can be suitably addressed and secured by condition and therefore I would offer no objection to the proposed development."

A map showing the enterprise zone, with the sports site on the right

The new facilities will replace existing sports grounds and free up land for development as employment land as part of future phases of the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone.

The proposed new sports facilities, designed by Preston architects Cassidy + Ashton, also include a new changing and spectator pavilion and reconfigured car parking to accommodate 194 cars.

The second phase of planned improvements to the sporting facilities come after the 2020 approval for the creation of 12 grass pitches to the south of Division Lane.

The whole sports development will cover 14 hectares and forms part of the first stage of the £28.8m investment allocated for the redevelopment of the 144-hectare Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone.

The third and final application will seek planning permission for employment, residential and ancillary uses, as well as new associated highways infrastructure, on the site of the existing sports pitches to the north of the current site.