Residents of St Annes can play their part in the future of the town at the polls next week.
On the same day as the Lancashire Council Council election, Thursday, May 4, the Neighbourhood Plan for St Annes is going to a public referendum.
The Neighbourhood Plan is crucial to the future of St Annes
The plan, which has been prepared by St Annes Town Council after a lengthy consultation exercise, aims to protect 25 parks and open spaces across the town, including Ashton Gardens, Blackpool Road North Playing Field and Mellings Wood, from housing development until 2031.
Other benefits of the plan include additional planning criteria for the conversion of flats and houses of multiple occupation, additional tree planting, improved gateways to the town entrances, supporting Blackpool Airport from non-airport related development, green infrastructure and improved transport links.
Town Council officials say that a majority ‘yes’ vote will ensure the document becomes part of planning policy for all applications within St Annes as part of the Fylde Local Plan.
Coun Tony Ford, chairman of the St Annes Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, said: “The Neighbourhood Plan is crucial to the future of St Annes.
“When the development of St Annes on the Sea was first mooted in the 1870s, plans were drawn up for how it was to develop.
“Wide streets and tree-lined avenues were important part of that plan and the term ‘Garden Town by the Sea’ was a crucial element in its design to reflect the visionaries of the time.
“Today’s Neighbourhood Plan seeks to revisit those aspirations, protecting those important open spaces, the parks and the gardens from unwelcome attention and/or development.”
TowncCouncillors are passionate about delivering a ‘yes’ vote on May 4.
Town clerk Sally Taylor added: “The amount of work that has been completed by not only by the town councillors and staff, but hundreds of volunteers has been phenomenal and is a credit to the strong community spirit that exists within the town.”
St Annes town mayor Cheryl Little has described the plan as ‘a fantastic document and a credit to the town’. She added: “It is so important to the future of the town, ensuring St Annes remains ‘A Garden Town by the Sea’.”
The polls will be open next Thursday from 7am to 10pm.
The plan is available to view online at: www.fylde.gov.uk/council/planning-policy--local-plan-/neighbourhood-planning/st-annes-sea-town-council-neighbourhood-plan