Protection for rare cottages

Historic Blackpool cottages have been protected from the threat of development after a planning inspector backed the council's decision to stop new houses being built nearby.

Monday, 7th March 2016, 7:00 pm
Residents Louise Brisco and Bev Lewis, protesting against plans to build 14 houses on land near their homes on Fishers Lane, Marton. The cottages are Grade II listed.

St Annes-based builders Newfield Construction appealed after being refused planning permission last year for eight houses on land bounded by Fishers Lane, Common Edge Road and Ecclesgate Road, which is part of Marton Moss.

The owners of two cottages on Fishers Lane had objected amid fears the 300-year-old buildings, which are grade two listed, could be damaged by the building work, while their unique setting would be harmed.

Now planning inspector Philip Major has agreed with some of their concerns and thrown out the appeal.

He said while he was satisfied with the reassurances put forward by the developer in relation to “technical matters such as flooding, foundation piling and traffic”, he felt “the harm to the setting of the listed buildings is not outweighed by the merits or benefits of this proposal.”

In making his judgement, he added: “The facing gables of the semi-detached houses would interfere with the open aspect of the cottages in a way which would reduce the significance of the relationship between the cottages and the Moss.”

Newfield Construction had argued the benefits of the scheme outweighed any objections.

The battle has been ongoing since 2013 when Newfield originally applied to build 14 properties on the land, before later reducing the number to eight.

Blackpool Council’s planning committee refused both applications, going against the recommendations of their officers,

At the time Coun David Owen, who was then chairman of planning, warned “we have to protect this area, and if we do not, on our heads be it.”

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”.