Lib Dems call for action plan for historic Foxhall Village as petition launched

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Foxhall Village dates right back to the early days of Blackpool

Residents of  Foxhall Village - part of the historic heart of Blackpool - have launched a petition calling for more investment in their community.

The neighbourhood, which is one of the oldest districts of Blackpool, was formally designated as a conservation area by the council last October.

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The Foxhall Action group has launched a petitionThe Foxhall Action group has launched a petition
The Foxhall Action group has launched a petition

It boasts many Victorian properties, including guesthouses dating back to the 1860s, but residents have warned the area is facing growing challenges of urban decay and neglect.

Carole Cregan, a hotelier on Bairstow Street since 1989, said: "This used to be such a vibrant place. Ten years ago this was Blackpool’s street of year. But today visitors are put off by more and more pockets of neglect – and the council aren’t bothered.”

Named after the 17th-century Fox Hall that once graced the area when Blackpool's coastline was largely deserted, Foxhall Village holds a significant place in Blackpool's heritage. A petition, first launched five years ago, has been relaunched by the community in a bid to restore the area with an innovative plan including the use of street art.

Liberal Democrat candidate Andrew CreganLiberal Democrat candidate Andrew Cregan
Liberal Democrat candidate Andrew Cregan

Andrew Cregan, the Lib Dem candidate in the Blackpool South by-election said the council had a duty to maintain the conservation area. He said: "Local people are offering up solutions to try and save their community and restore pride in their area – but we're being ignored."

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The petition calls upon the council to collaborate with local landlords and use its powers to restore the area to its former glory.

Last October the council approved a management plan including proposals to use planning powers to tackle neglected properties. Its own report warned the district was suffering and said “vacancy, disrepair and anti-social behaviour are having a negative impact on the appearance and perception of the conservation area.”

The report added council officers would work “to prevent further deterioration”, while planning enforcement action “will be taken against landlords who fail to maintain their properties.”

The management plan for Foxhall Village says:

  • Construction to be of high quality
  • Demolition only allowed in exceptional circumstances
  • Car parks should be made more attractive for example with landscaping
  • More traditional street furniture should be introduced reflecting the Victorian heritage
  • Improve commercial frontages

Anyone wishing to  support the campaign and sign the petition  should visit www.blackpoollibdems.org.uk/petition.

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