Update 7

Posted on: Sun Mar 8 by Tom Barlow

Dear Guardians

1/       COVID-19

We hope you are all coping well with challenges and the withdrawal from social contact that this virus has brought to all our lives.

2/       Notices and Objections

In Feb and March, Blackpool Council issued three notices in the Blackpool Gazette

These notices informed the public of their Blackpool Councils intention to appropriate the land that forms the area currently used as an 18-hole golf course, as an annexe to the leisure offering of Stanley Park.

Notice One

Relates to the whole of the course and proposes to allow which they intend to dispose of through a short-term lease, followed by a longer-term lease on the west side only.

Notice Two

This appropriation is for the east, or hospital side only, which the council proposes to change the purpose for which it holds the land ready for planning purposes in anticipation of development of the area.

Notice Three

In the event, that the proposals set out in Notice Two are approved, this notice proposes the disposal of the land by way of lease for use as leisure theme park and holiday lodges.

3/           STANLEY PARK GOLF COURSE OBJECTIONS FLOOD IN TO THE COUNCIL

Blackpool Open Green Spaces the Campaign Group who are protesting the development of this green space

On the afternoon of Thursday 19th March, which was the cut-off date for objections, guardians from Blackpool Open Green Spaces (BOGs) delivered: –

  • 91 closed letters in sealed envelopes.
  • 21 open letters, which the authors were willing to share.

These letters were complimented by: –

75 letters from supporters which were emailed to the council and copied to BOGs.

Blackpool have also received other objections by letter and by email from other residents, to which the campaign has had no influence or input.

As such we understand that Blackpool may have received around 200 letters of objection!

4/       A BIG – Thank You

We are very grateful to those of you who have taken the time to write letters objecting to the notices of appropriation.

We are also very grateful to those of you who went the extra mile by spreading the word, by cajoling, neighbours, friends, and family, and in so doing made a significant contribution to the numbers of letters included in the total.

We won’t name the individuals, but you know who you are, and you have our sincere thanks for your efforts on behalf of the campaign.

The numbers of course were important but of equal if not more importance is the content and reasons which you have identified in your letters.

5/       Executive Spring Meeting

Blackpool Council sent out standard responses to the objection letters stating that they would be noted and presented at an executive meeting in the spring.

It will be interesting to see how the Community and Regeneration Team put a positive spin over two hundred objections.

The last meeting of the executive was Monday, 23 March 2020, the agenda shows that this item was not debated, and no report presented.

The next meeting is 20th April 2020, as yet no agenda is available, but it’s a good bet that the appropriation notices and objections will be discussed at this meeting, unless other more pressing issues like COVID 19 overtake the agenda?

6/                 Next Step Planning

We will be keeping an eye on any planning applications as they appear on the Blackpool Planning Portal.

As previously indicated, we will be using all and any guidance documents and professional advice in order to discourage the approval of any development of this land.

7/       Holmes Investment Properties

Blackpool Council have slipped another action under the radar by signing an OPERATING LICENCE Holmes Investment Properties, (HIP)

This is a contract to manage the golf course, until such time as they can set out the leasing arrangements, as set out in Notice 1.

Clearly this fits completely with the open and transparent processes which the council tell us they have used from the start to take this development forward!

However, at this critical time for us all, both the club and the course remain closed until such time as the pandemic has abated and we can return to some semblance of normality!

8/                 Blackpool Park Golf Club and BOGs

Today we have been informed that HIP have made an official complaint to Blackpool Council regarding BOGs use of the Golf Club House as its communication and meetings hub.

In order to ensure that BPGC do not violate their existing lease with Blackpool Council, BOG’s will be relocating its operational activities, and will provide further details once this has been finalised.

9/       COVID-19

Clearly, it’s going to be some time before public meetings will start again, so we have time to locate another venue. In the meantime, please do not send post, or contact BPGC.

Like many other sports clubs they are currently closed until the rules around the pandemic are lifted.

Email is the best way to contact BOG’s  blackpoolgreenspace@gmail.com

We are working on alternative communications contingencies should the period extend beyond June 2020.

Be Careful Out There

Yours Truly

TomB