Refusal of plan to build bungalows on former Blackpool garden centre 'is not fair' warns councillor

Residents have been told they must wait until a neighbourhood plan is in place before there is any prospect of their housing development being completed.

By Shelagh Parkinson
Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 2:16 pm

Blackpool Council's planning committee refused an application to build an additional five bungalows at Birchwood Gardens, off Midgeland Road because the scheme was 'premature'.

Officers said the proposals could not be approved until the Marton Moss Neighbourhood Plan was adopted because that will shape future development of the area.

Twelve bungalows for residents aged over 55 have already been built on the site of the former Baguleys Garden Centre.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Birchwood Gardens

Kate Bannister, speaking on behalf of the residents of Birchwood Gardens, said people felt completing the development would make it more secure, prevent fly-tipping on the unused land and meet demand for bungalows.

She said: "The completion of the development will enhance the local area and improve security and surveillance of Birchwood Gardens."

Ward councillor Graham Baker, who supported the application, said the site had previously had permission for up to 36 homes, but that had lapsed.

He added: "It is suggested we need to wait until the neighbourhood plan is accepted, but that could be years away. I don't think it is fair."

But Susan Parker, head of development management at the council, said she hoped "we are talking months rather than years" until the neighbourhood plan is adopted.

She warned allowing the bungalows to be built "could set a precedent by making an exception when other plans for development on Marton Moss are in abeyance awaiting the neighbourhood plan."

Planning permission was granted for Birchwood Gardens in April 2019 because it was felt the benefits of redevelopment of a brownfield site outweighed the fact the scheme contravened planning policy.

Consultation took place in April this year for the Marton Moss Neighbourhood Plan with the next stage being its submission to the council, followed by independent examination, a referendum and then formal adoption of the plan.