Warning over plan for homes near cottages

Owners 'Louise Brisco and Bev Lewis outside the cottages on Fishers Lane
Owners 'Louise Brisco and Bev Lewis outside the cottages on Fishers Lane
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A bid to build homes on land close to historic cottages in Blackpool is being recommended for approval after the proposed development was scaled back for the second time.

Newfield Construction has had two previous applications to build houses on land bounded by Fishers Lane, Common Edge Road and Ecclesgate Road, which is part of Marton Moss, thrown out by council planners.

They fear the scheme would adversely affect two Grade two listed cottages on Fishers Lane which at around 300 years old, are among the oldest buildings in Blackpool.

Opponents warned the development would harm their unique setting.

Previous applications for 14 houses and then eight houses have been rejected.

Earlier this year, a planning inspector also dismissed an appeal by Newfield Construction.

But Blackpool Council’s planning committee is being recommended to approve a fresh application for six houses on the site.

A report to councillors says the new plans have “satisfactorily addressed” concerns about the impact of the setting on the cottages.

It adds “the benefits of developing the site in the manner proposed outweigh any disbenefits relating to the setting of the listed cottages beyond” as the scheme will help meet Blackpool’s housing needs.

But objections have been received, including from Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden.

In a letter submitted to the council, he says he shares “continuing concerns that the settings of the cottages remain strongly at risk”.

Mr Marsden says he is also concerned about drainage issues and the potential loss of archaeological remains.

He adds; “I believe that the LCC county archaeology officer was absolutely right to emphasise the potential for Bronze Age and Mesolithic materials of significance potentially in the area of the application.”

The two thatched cottages date back to the 18th century and are among the earliest homes to be built in Blackpool.

Blackpool Civic Trust describes the cottages as “rare examples of single-storey cobbled-walled dwellings”.

The application is due before the planning committee when it meets on Tuesday at 6pm at the town hall.