Clean up our alley

Joe Jefferson (Minters Car Valeting), Coun Arnold Sumner, Guy Pople (Dark Halo Music)
Joe Jefferson (Minters Car Valeting), Coun Arnold Sumner, Guy Pople (Dark Halo Music)

AMBITIOUS plans have been revealed to regenerate an off-the beaten-track area of St Annes town centre.

Back St Annes Road West, which runs from St Andrews Road South to Clifton Drive South, has been neglected for some years.

In recent months the area has become a dumping ground for rubbish, with business owners reporting incidents of undesirables congregating and urinating on public property.

John Moxon, chairman of St Annes Chamber of Trade explained: “We are going to do a walk down the street in the next few weeks with members of Fylde Borough Council looking at the prospect of a regeneration programme.

“We’d like it to develop into a mews type of area with more of an emphasis on trading.

“The problems are that the pavements are not in the best condition and vehicles use it as a short cut through the town centre.

“One idea is that we’d like it to be more pedestrian friendly. There is a lot of privately-owned land so we are hoping the private investors will do their bit in cleaning the area up.”

Prospects of regeneration will come as welcome relief for business owners, particularly, Guy Pople proprietor of Dark Halo music, who has actively been campaigning on the rubbish front liaising with Coun Arnold Sumner.

Mr Pople, who recently set up his business, explained: “It needs to be treated as part of St Annes central business district by making it welcoming and pretty for families to walk down.

“You see the cobbles and it gives of an feeling of nostalgia. It’ll be great for the area to be treated as an area of interest and get rid of those who abuse the area and lack any civic pride.”

Wendy James, owner of ZPQ Design, added: “Any injection of funds or regeneration can only be good. I’ve had my business here for 13 years and seen things improve but at the moment it’s still just a back alley.”

Tracey Dobson, of Down the Alley Sandwich Company, enthused: “If the area was pedestrian friendly that would be great, particularly with the new Travelodge opening up.

“It’s quite a suntrap so I’d be able to put out tables and chairs and open on Sundays to cater for breakfasts.”

Although the plan is in early exploration stages the regeneration could give existing local businesses a much needed boost and make the alley a more valued part of the town centre.