Blackpool to decide on controversial Stanley Park sale

The council is to determine on Wednesday whether or not to sell part of Stanley Park Golf Club to leisure operator United Kingdom Adventure Parks, after an earlier decision to approve the disposal was overruled. 

UKAP’s plans would see the construction of an outlet of Adrenalin World, an entertainment centre brand headed up by tennis player-turned-leisure mogul, David Lloyd, as well as 250 holiday lodges on part of the land currently occupies by the golf course.

The development would result in the 18-hole golf course, founded in 1926, being cut in half. 

Blackpool Council’s executive in July voted to dispose of 39 acres to UKAP, a subsidiary of real estate investor Holmes Investment Properties. 

Cllr Neal Brooks spoke out in support of the land disposal at the time, but warned that the move could see the council “cast as villains” by some members of the public.   

Brooks argued that the council had been “propping up” the golf course for years and that allowing the land to be redeveloped provided the opportunity to progress a “viable venture” at the site. 

However, at a meeting of Blackpool’s tourism, economy and communities scrutiny committee following the initial approval of the land sale earlier in the summer, it was decided that there had been “inadequate consultation” over the plans and that the executive committee had failed to take into account local residents’ concerns.  

Committee chair Martin Mitchell said: “I am not convinced that the executive considered all of the relevant arguments. If [the decision] is referred to full council, it will enable full consideration of all the issues.” 

A decision on the land sale will be voted on by all 42 Blackpool councillors this week. A petition against the sale of the land garnered 8,000 signatures but was disregarded by the council last year. 

Liverpool-based architect Ryder Architecture and Manchester-based consultancy Hydrock are on the project team for the proposed leisure scheme, alongside planning consultant Iceni Projects. 

UKAP is expected to sign a lease of between 99 and 125 years, according to the council’s head of regeneration. 

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