Development will boost centre

New homes are to be built on the old Pontins site on Clifton Drive North
New homes are to be built on the old Pontins site on Clifton Drive North
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A new 353-home neighbourhood on the border of St Annes is set to be built over the next decade, it has been revealed and it will provide a cash boost to the town centre.

Two, three, and four-bedroomed homes are set to be built on a barren 10-hectare patch of land that once welcomed thousands of tourists every year when it was a Pontin’s holiday camp, plans lodged with Fylde Council show.

Some 595 car parking spaces are planned, while 30 per cent of the homes will be affordable in the second phase of the Coastal Dunes project, developer Persimmon said.

At least £100,000 will be put into redeveloping St Annes town centre, while the firm will also give money towards school places, Fylde Council said.

But concern has been raised about the impact almost 600 vehicles would have on the busy Clifton Drive North, the main link between the two towns.

In the last six years, 34 people have been injured in crashes at the junction of Clifton Drive North and Squires Gate Lane, the Squires Gate Lane and Lytham Road junction, and Squires Gate Lane and Amy Johnson Way.

Four of them were serious.

St Annes councillor Karen Henshaw said: “The speed limit definitely needs to come down to 30mph.

“That will need to be changed because Clifton Drive now is very busy.

“Are the schools going to cope? Are the medical facilities going to cope? The two schools in St Annes are pretty full already.

“We have roads collapsing all the time because the drainage is old. The local infrastructure can’t cope with all the extra houses, even though they tell us we need them.”

Persimmon Homes Lancashire managing director Mark Cook said: “A thorough traffic survey has been conducted prior to the submission of our application and we believe that the location is particularly well served by public transport, being almost adjacent to Squires Gate railway station and Starr Gate tram station and with bus stops along Clifton North Drive.”

The building work will form part of Persimmon’s Coastal Dunes scheme, which is split into two phases.

In 2008, the site’s then-owner Northern Trust applied for outline planning permission for two separate parcels of land, one smaller one to the south of Clifton Drive North and one to the north.

Permission was granted and the land was sold to Persimmon, which has already started building 73 homes on the smaller, more southerly parcel.

Green open space will act as a barrier between the two sites where there is a ‘no build zone’ because of the flightpath for nearby Blackpool Airport, paperwork revealed.

Local residents and businesses, and other interested parties ,such as the county council, have now been asked for their views.

Persimmon’s application is now in the process of being scrutinised by planning officers, with a decision due to be made in the future.