Update No 16 – July 2021

Posted on: Mon Jul 19 by Tom Barlow

HAPPY FREEDOM DAY 19TH July 2021

Congratulations if you have made it through this far, and like us we are sure you are going to be taking a cautious approach to the return of those freedoms we previously took for granted.

Despite an exchange of emails, letters, Freedom of Information Act requests, and phone calls, the only thing we can report for sure is that there has been no progress with the development and that NO PLANS HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED!

Cllr Tony Williams, the leader of the Conservatives on Blackpool Council, has raised the issue regarding the lack of activity in regard to this development, as reported in the Blackpool Gazette.

https://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/business/consumer/questions-asked-about-plans-for-ps45m-blackpool-attraction-that-would-halve-stanley-park-golf-course-3306645

So No News is Good News or Is It!

Despite all the news reports by Blackpool Council and Holmes Investment Properties Ltd which appeared during March this year, there is still no sign of any planning applications being submitted, for any of this proposed development.

A recent request by one of our guardians got this response from Blackpool Council, but they had to go through their councillor to get it!

Q/1-The proposed building of an Adrenaline World and 250 number proposed log cabins will in my view be detrimental to the environment.

Response: – The number of lodges (and the whole design of all the phases) are subject to a pre-planning public consultation expected to commence in July with a planning application expected to follow later this year, when there will be further consultation before any decision is subsequently made by the Planning Committee. Resident’s will be able to make representations at the pre-planning public consultation and at planning application stage.

Our Guardian asked total of eight questions about the development, but in each case the answers will only be revealed as part of the planning process.

Before putting a spade in the ground, a full planning application which includes consultation with those affected, needs to be completed, until this process has been completed there should be no disturbance or alteration of the land, so we need to stay vigilant.

If the planning process had started in May, then communicating under Covid restrictions would have been restricted our ability to protest, and HIP’s delay in making a planning application, gives us more time to communicate our message now we can once again properly engage with the wider community.

Local Election Results

We have made it clear in past updates that for us this is not a political campaign, but as the voting on this matter has been split down party lines, with Labour promoting the development and the Independents and the Conservatives’ councillors and both Local MPs very much against.

Although the Blackpool’s local elections are not due until 2023, two seats were contested following the sad passing of long serving independent councillors, Cllr Lily Henderson in Highfield Ward, and Cllr Peter Callow in Norbreck Ward.

These seats were both taken by Conservative candidates, Cllr Julie Solman in Norbreck, and Cllr Bradley Mitchell in Highfield.

Following this result the Labour Group still holds a small 4 seat majority on Council, with the executive made up exclusively from the Labour Group, led by Cllr Lynne Williams.

The Future of Stanley Park Golf Course.

The following statement is taken directly from HIP’s (Stanley Park Golf Course Blackpool Ltd) website: – https://stanleyparkgolf.co.uk/

“To avoid any confusion or misinformation, Stanley Park Golf can confirm that the course will remain an 18-hole course until at least 31st August 2021. After this date, and subject to progress with planning applications, the course will be reduced to 9-holes to allow the development and improvements to the new Stanley Park Family Golf Centre which will include a 9-hole course, new Pod Range System, and improved practice facilities. Future development of the clubhouse facilities will be subject to future planning applications.”

We understand that the golf club have had the following update on the 7th of June.

“Planning Consultants are still working on finalising the application, you have already been made aware that we will not now reduce the course to nine holes before October 31st, 2021, and then with not less than 8 weeks’ notice.”

In the meantime, HIP or rather their new company Stanley Park Golf Course (Blackpool) Ltd (SPGC B, pool Ltd) are running the Golf Course, and it is suggested that just like their predecessor Mack Trading, they are not paying any rent to Blackpool Council for the privilege! Yet they are retaining all the income in the form of Green Fees, all at the Blackpool Council Taxpayers expense.

This now makes those 11 years where Blackpool Council have not taken any revenue from this facility, amounting to somewhere in the region on £ 900,000 pounds of lost revenue!

To date several individual requests under the Freedom of Information Act, have failed to answer what contractual arrangements have been put in place between Blackpool Council, HIP and SPGC(B,pool)Ltd, Blackpool Council refuse to make these transactions transparent, quoting contractual confinditality. We say Taxpayers have the right to know?

The fact is the West Side of this land is firmly within the boundaries of the Stanley Park Conservation Area, land which is subject to the controls and constrains which must be complied with before attempting to develop with a conservation area.

Thanks for your continued support, and we hope to see you all soon.

Tom Barlow

Chairperson

BOG’s Steering Group.