Politicians tee off over future of Blackpool's Stanley Park golf course

Part of the Stanley Park course which is under threat
Part of the Stanley Park course which is under threat
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Plans to redevelop part of Blackpool's Stanley Park golf course as a tourist attraction are at the centre of the battle for votes ahead of next month's General Election.

Gordon Marsden, who is hoping to retain Blackpool South for Labour, has written to developer Holmes Investment Properties (HIP), seeking a meeting to discuss their proposals.

Meanwhile Paul Maynard, who is bidding to be re-elected for the Conservatives in Blackpool North and Cleveleys, has called for the deal to be scrapped.

The scheme for a £45m investment in an Adrenaline World attraction and 250 holiday lodges, in partnership with leisure entrepreneur David Lloyd, was unveiled by Blackpool Council in August.

But thousands of people signed a petition objecting to the plan which would see the loss of open space and nine holes of the Park golf course on the east side of the site which sits at the border of both constituencies.

Mr Marsden said: "There is a long process before it comes to planning and I hope HIP, in the interests of trying to allay concerns about their development, would want to be as open and transparent as possible with people.

"In terms of the detail, the number of lodges has varied considerably and my understanding is originally it was between 75 and 85.

"Given the concerns, whether simply of people wanting to use the golf club or the wider concerns about the possible impact on the park, I think there is a need for the developer to be more outward looking.

"I have written to HIP to ask for an exploratory meeting with them to ask about what they want to do and how it might affect the area."

But Mr Maynard claimed Labour were "rather late to the party on this important issue" and was "waging a war on sport in our town."

He added: “I have made clear from the start that our golf course should not be sold off.

"This deal is not in the best interests of the people of Blackpool. I have already raised my objections at the highest level and those committed to fighting these plans have my full support.

"I’ll continue to fight to preserve our green space, keep the golf course in situ and to prevent the traffic chaos around our hospital this scheme would cause."