One of Blackpool Civic Trust’s prime aims is to promote high standards of planning and architecture and try to secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of all features of historical or public interest within our town.
We also believe the planning system has untapped potential to engage people in becoming more actively involved in their community as well as managing land use, change and development for the widest public good.
To further our aims we have appointed a Planning Officer who is also a member of our Committee.
Blackpool Civic Trust is given the opportunity to examine all planning applications submitted to the Blackpool Council Planning office. However we currently limit our interest to applications in conservation areas and to listed buildings. There are now 7 Conservation Areas. They are:
Town Centre CA
Stanley Park CA
Marton Moss CA
North Promenade CA
We also review all applications related to the Grade I and Grade II / II* listed buildings in Blackpool.
Our planning activity includes buildings which we believe need protecting, these are to be considered as Local Listed Buildings. A committee has been established by Blackpool Council to create and formalise this list on a ward by ward basis. The Planning Officer is a member of this committee.
Our interest is not just in alterations to properties but also for such things as the erection of mobile phone masts or the cutting down of mature trees which have a preservation order on them. There are now 300 plus locally listed buildings, open spaces, etc.
The council has very limited say regarding the erection of mobile phone masts, since these are governed by ‘permitted developments’. The council has a greater say, however, concerning the positioning of mobile masts in Conservation Areas.
The Planning Officer is a member of our Committee and provides a report to the Committee Meetings and to the monthly members meetings.
In 2015 The Civic Trust carried out a condition survey of all Grade 2 listed buildings on behalf of the Council. Our planning officer raised concerns about the general condition of the former Clifton Hotel (Grade 2). Of particular concern were cracks in the west elevation and the dangerous state of several exterior lights that looked as if they might fall down. Our Chair, Joan, contacted the Gazette, which published an article on the building’s condition. We alerted the Council also whose Enforcement Officers got the hotel to dismantle the offending light fixtures.
Since then the Civic Trust has been keeping a close eye on the building and recording the external repairs that have slowly been taking place. These observations were regularly passed on to the Council’s Conservation Officer. It is very pleasing to report that Forshaw’s hotel, as it’s now called - reverting to its historic name - is looking altogether more spruce, though it’s a work in progress.
Talbot Square has seen several major improvements over recent years. These include renovation work on the Town Hall’s exterior, the building of the Premier Inn on the former Yates site and the, perhaps, more controversial construction of the tram track extension. In addition, public artworks have been installed outside the Counting House, with the sculpture ‘Call of the Sea’ proving an irresistible opportunity for holiday-makers and visitors to take ‘selfies’.
Karting 2000 planning application
Blackpool Civic Trust successfully objected to a planning application for the Karting 2000 Raceway to continue operating on South Promenade. The Trust objected because the application contravened the Council’s planning guide regarding developments west of the tram tracks. This guide is designed to protect views of the seafront and coastline for which Blackpool has long been famous...............................................................