Tories dub resort ‘car park capital of Europe’

Coun Tony Williams
Coun Tony Williams
Share this article
Have your say

Blackpool’s Tory leader has dubbed the town “the car park capital of Europe” after plans were submitted for another demolition site to be used for parking.

The council is set to lease the site of the former Devonshire Road Hospital from the NHS for use as a 273 space temporary car park for five years.

It will be mainly for workers being transferred to the new council offices in the Talbot Gateway from outlying offices.

It is the latest of a number of sites earmarked for parking in and around the town centre.

Coun Tony Williams, leader of the Conservative group on Blackpool Council, said: “’Blackpool is fast becoming the car park capital of Europe and an architect’s nightmare as we continue to build and develop in a haphazard manner on every piece of spare ground available.

“Several years ago I suggested using this plot of land as a low priced park and ride to lower traffic congestion in the town centre and attract more visitors to the town.

“The then chief executive didn’t agree and argued that the hospital wouldn’t lease the land.

“It’s been an eyesore for years, is situated at a very busy junction and depending where the entrance and exits are placed, it will surely cause traffic mayhem at peak times especially with the housing development happening across the road.

“However the council see a money earner as they will be charging all council employees moving to the new offices to park here.

“If they are hoping that visitors and shoppers will use this car park then it won’t work unless they provide a free bus service.”

The council is proposing to demolish the former Syndicate nightclub and use that land for a car park, while property on Coronation Street was also demolished and is being used a council car park adjacent to the Houndshill Centre.

The 3.6 acre parcel of land formerly occupied by Devonshire Road Hospital has been vacant since the hospital was demolished in 2005.

The council has been leasing the site since last spring for use by contractors working on the Talbot Gateway Central Business District.

But if permission is granted for the latest scheme, the land will be resurfaced and used by the public and staff.

A council spokesman said: “We can confirm we have applied for planning permission for a car park to provide additional spaces, primarily for workers at the new Talbot Gateway Central Business District, but also for the general public.

“Staff will have to buy a permit to use the site.

“It’s important that we have sufficient capacity for staff near to the offices without overcrowding the town centre car parks which need to be used by local residents and visitors.”