The shape of the future

The ICI lagoon and landfill complex at Hillhouse Industrial Estate, Thornton
The ICI lagoon and landfill complex at Hillhouse Industrial Estate, Thornton
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THIS is the first look at a 15 year vision to convert a former landfill site into a country park.

The ICI lagoon and landfill complex at Hillhouse Industrial Estate, Thornton, is set to see a new lease of life as sprawling open space.

NPL Estates, which owns the former ICI Hillhouse site are working with Global Renewables and Lancashire County Council to restore the area.

A massive planning application is expected to be submitted to Wyre Council next month.

Arran Cameron, development director at NPL, said the site was the equivalent of 100 football pitches.

He said: “This project will open up a large site which has been fenced for decades and provide an amenity area for local residents and visitors.

“Due to its sheer size, it will take about 15 years to complete, but a phased restoration programme will allow areas to be released for public access on an ongoing basis.

“At the moment we are working through the Environmental Impact Assessment process before finalising the drawings with a view to submitting with planning by the end of June.

“We have carried out neighbourhood consultation through local forums, leaflet drops and posters being displayed at Stanah country park and local libraries.”

The park will be designed with a mosaic of wildlife habitats including areas of woodland, grassland, reed beds and open ground.

It will be accessible via a new public footpath which will connect to the existing Wyre Way coastal footpath and allow access between the Wyre Estuary Country Park and Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park.

Cleveleys resident and chairman of Rossall Residents’ Association, Jane Littlewood said: “It is fantastic, it is an open path around the coast.

“In our area you have the seafront and you have housing but this country park will offer a great place for locals to go and spend the day.

“We will never say no to green space, I think this is a fantastic way to use the space, it is really good news for Wyre.”

After the plans are submitted there will be opportunity for further public consultation.

ICI Hillhouse, in Thornton, was a large chemical works primarily involved in chlorine manufacture which closed in 1992.