The tug-of-war between two community groups for the right to develop a prime coastal site is set to go to the wire after a public consultation could not separate the two bids.
Following a vote by more than 950 Fylde residents, an equal number of responses were polled for a £415,000 sand and water play site by Park View 4U, as well as a £150,000 general landscaping scheme proposed by the Lytham St Annes Civic Society to develop the Scruples site on Lytham foreshore.
A quarter of votes felt the site, formerly a nightclub, should be left as it is.
The bids will go before Fylde Council’s scrutiny committee tonight (Thursday), where a key recommendation will be made over the future of a site that could attract millions of pounds in tourism revenue for the borough.
Civic society chairman Marion Coupe said the group’s plans would reflect the council’s Coastal Strategy plan for the coming years and protect the beauty spot from “inappropriate development”.
She added: “We are really pleased to be presenting our proposals to council once more as we now find that they are very much in tune with the draft Coastal Strategy. This, and the new Heritage Strategy, will serve to protect Lytham from inappropriate development.
“The design and materials used in our plans for the foreshore site at Scruples would have withstood all the recent bad weather.”
But the chairman of Park View, Aurelio Arciniega, said his group’s bid had received full support from the Coastal Communities Fund, which is backing the scheme financially.
He added: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to present our proposals to elected councillors and to explain the benefits this will generate for the local economy and community through the creation of a unique destination with proven educational value.
“We have applied for funding from the Coastal Communities Fund for the project.
“This will pay for purchasing and installation of play equipment, landscaping, the cost of the cabin as well as employing staff over the two years.
“Our submission has successfully passed all the (funding) stages and the ministers have made the unprecedented step of deferring their decision until ‘the local issues have been resolved’ i.e. the cabinet have made their decision.”
The meeting is at the Town Hall from 6.15pm.
A cabinet meeting to rubber stamp any scheme is expected to take place later this month.