Next phase of £5m sports investment for Blackpool approved

The latest phase of a £5m scheme to upgrade sports facilities in Blackpool has got the go ahead – despite warnings of increased traffic on an already busy road.

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 11:50 am

Blackpool Council’s planning committee approved proposals for 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.

Improvements will also be made to the access from Common Edge Road/Queensway including the creation of a new footpath and cycleway.

The grounds to the west of South Shore Cricket Club will operate alongside 12 new football pitches already approved to the south of the site.

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An artist's impression of the proposed Enterprise Zone sports village
An artist's impression of the proposed Enterprise Zone sports village

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.

Councillors unanimously approved the application in principle with conditions to be approved at a later stage by planning officers, although concerns were raised about potential traffic increases.

Coun Andrew Stansfield asked for reassurances about the traffic management plan as since the closure of roads across the Moss “Common Edge Road has become incredibly congested for most of the day.”

He added: “What is being done to alleviate that when the pitches are in use?”

Council planning officer Clare Johnson said traffic management would include the widening of part of the carriageway on Common Edge Road, widening of the access from Division Lane West and improved pedestrian access which would be agreed through conditions.

A total of 31 objections were received, including from South Shore Cricket Club, with concerns raised about the quality of the replacement sports facilities.

But planners said in their report: “Socially, the scheme would provide enhanced sporting facilities to support communities in south Blackpool and Fylde in an area with long standing sporting connections.

“No unacceptable highway safety impacts are anticipated and sufficient car parking would be provided.

“The proposals represent an improvement quantitatively and qualitatively in grass pitches, alongside the additional benefit of a new 3G pitch.

“The new changing facilities with expanded amenities represents a significant improvement in quality compared to the existing changing room provision at Jepson Way, as does additional parking provision.”

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