Bispham High School plans return to committee
Blackpool Council’s plans to redevelop the 22-acre site of the former school into 176 homes are earmarked for approval for a second time after being deferred more than a year ago due to an objection from Sport England.
The plans, which would result in the loss of playing fields at the Bispham Road site, were opposed by Sport England when the proposal last went before committee in October 2019.
At the time, government agency Sport England said it would withdraw its objection if a “robust and up-to-date needs assessment demonstrates that the playing fields are clearly surplus to community sports needs within the borough”.
Since the deferral, a playing pitch statement has been drawn up by consultancy De Pol Chartered Planners that claims the playing fields on the site have not been used since the school closed in 2015 and that there is not a shortage of pitches in the borough.
It is not yet known whether Sport England will withdraw its objection ahead of Wednesday’s planning committee meeting because of the statement.
If the public body maintains its objection to the scheme, the proposals would be delegated to the secretary of state for final approval.
The hybrid application put forward by the council includes full planning permission for the relocation of the existing air cadet hut, and the construction of 176 homes across the site. These are to include a mix of detached and semi-detached homes, along with apartments.
The main residential area of the development, comprising 120 properties, would be on the site of the former school, with access via Bispham Road, while the remaining 56 units on the western part of the site would be accessed through the adjacent Regency Gardens housing estate.
Several objections have been lodged by local residents who oppose the development.