Pontin’s site plans setback

View of the Pontins site
View of the Pontins site
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PLANS to build hundreds of homes on a derelict holiday camp site have been hit by a setback after planning permission was overturned.

Fylde Council was forced to admit it had not properly followed planning procedure when it approved Northern Trust’s 273-home estate on the former Pontin’s site, in St Annes, after Blackpool Airport complained.

It is a blow for the council – which is keen to see the brownfield land developed.

Northern Trust said it was “very disappointed” at the decision.

The airport had argued the plans – and the 73-home phase two – would have a detrimental impact on expansion plans and accused the council of failing to adequately consider its concerns.

And now the council has been forced to accept it did not properly follow procedure, meaning the planning permission has been quashed by a consent order and Northern Trust’s plans will now have to go back before the planning committee.

Amended phase one plans have been submitted and a spokeswoman for the Chorley-based developer said: “We continue to work closely with Fylde Council to bring about regeneration of this important brownfield site and welcome their continued support of the proposed development.

“We anticipate planning permission will be granted in March or April 2012.

“We were very disappointed by the airport’s stance on both applications and we will of course continue to work closely with Fylde Council to ensure our proposals are robust and in accordance with planning legislation.”

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The council’s decision to approve phase two was put on hold in light of the consent order, and those plans are expected to go back before the committee at the same time as phase one.

A spokeswoman for the airport said: “The permission was not quashed because of anything the airport objected to, it was quashed because the planning procedures had not been followed correctly.”

Council planning officer Mike Atherton added: “The decision is quashed so it is a live application again.

“We’ve been discussing with the applicant what changes need to be made.”

The news has also come as a blow to ward councillor and mayor Coun Howard Henshaw (left), who had hoped to see the area tidied up before this summer’s Open Golf.

Half the site has been demolished, but the other half has fallen into disrepair and has become a target for vandals.

Coun Henshaw said: “It needs tidying up because it’s just getting worse and worse every day with graffiti and vandals.

“Everybody is complaining about it and I can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.

“I don’t think they are going to be able to tidy it up in time for the golf and it is the gateway to St Annes. It’s not a very good advert.

“The best thing to do would be to demolish it because to leave it in it’s current state is is asking vandals to come in.”

Northern Trust, which employs security on the site, has confirmed they have no plans to carry out any more demolition work until planning permission is granted.

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