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Grange Park development - consultation feedback

In April we held an online consultation on the planned development at Grange Park. Unfortunately due to the COVID restrictions we were unable to hold it in person. 

Thank you to everyone who viewed the proposals and provided responses, we are grateful for all of the interest and feedback that has been received.

We are happy to see that so many people are interested in the scheme, with almost 4,000 views of the webpage, and we appreciate the range of supportive comments. A key message from the feedback was that many welcomed the scheme providing a range of new housing types and sizes to meet the needs in Blackpool. In particular the provision of more specialist homes that can be adapted to individual needs and a wider range of housing sizes to meet local demand, including homes for larger families.

We received over 130 responses, this feedback has been reviewed and we have provided a summary and response to some of the key issues and concerns that have been raised during the consultation.

The new development will mean more vehicles parking on the estate roads causing congestion and raising safety concerns, especially for children.

Every new house will have designated off road parking, providing a minimum of one space per new home and up to three spaces relative to the size of the property. There is also a number of additional visitor parking spaces included. Safety of all residents is a primary concern and the design of the new houses looks to create a safe and attractive place for residents of all ages. The design provides dedicated pedestrian and cycle routes and traffic calming will be included on the new roads.

A dedicated travel plan is being developed as part of the package of information that will support the scheme's planning application and which looks to reduce the dependence of residents on travel by private car.

New homes are being built but other new facilities such as shops, leisure amenities and parks are not being provided

Following feedback from residents at previous consultations the council investigated if there was interest in providing new shops and other local services.

Unfortunately there wasn't enough market interest to justify the building of retail units due to the risk of them being empty/unused. The scheme will not prevent this being considered in the future if circumstances change.

Included in the scheme design are areas of formal and informal community green space. The site off Chepstow road (Site A) will incorporate a 'pocket park' at a focal point at the junction of Fulwood Avenue and Chepstow Road. The site off Dinmore Avenue (Site B) includes over 2,000 m2 of formal community green space along with a new dedicated children's play area. This green space will be available for use for community events linked to services and activities provided by @The Grange. Once completed, new pedestrian hardstanding paths will also be included to link the sites to other existing footpaths (e.g. the 'Black Path') and highway footpaths.

The travel plan (being prepared to support the planning application) analyses the proximity of the two development sites in relation to a range of local amenities, both on foot and cycling. This highlights that both sites are very accessible (within 2 km) to a range of local amenities including schools, pharmacy, parks, play areas, MUGAs and food stores. In addition the sites are both served by a number of bus routes which provide viable alternatives to car journeys.

The provision of new homes will result in an increase in crime in the local area

Safety and security is always a key consideration in designing any new housing scheme, it has been a priority for the council in informing this design process.

The new homes and associated public spaces have been designed to maximise natural surveillance meaning paths and public areas benefit from overlooking by new and existing housing. In addition all parts of the development will have suitable lighting ensuring residents can access homes and local amenities at any time of day.

The planning process takes account of security in liaison with the police. In a practical sense the local police representation are based in @The Grange which is adjacent to the Dinmore Avenue (Site B) which provides a strong physical connection to the development sites. 

Feedback highlighted concern for, and how the development might affect local nature and wildlife

The scheme includes new landscaped green and open space as well as private garden spaces. The design team, who have provided expert professional support in drafting the scheme, includes a landscape architect.

To support actions in regards to the council's climate emergency declaration the landscape design focuses on maximising the contribution to local biodiversity. In support of the planning application a range of ecological surveys have been undertaken.

These include a specialist survey of the existing trees and one which outlines the presence of existing wildlife, such as bats and birds. The results of these surveys have also been used to inform the landscape design process, ensuring existing habitats are maintained wherever possible and appropriate new ones are incorporated into the scheme landscaping.

The landscaping within the scheme will include:

  • Native tree species (of various sizes) including flowering trees that encourage pollinators and provide food for birds
  • Areas of meadow/ long grass and scrub which improves habitat for bugs and insects
  • Native hedgerows to provide habitat for insects, birds, hedgehogs and bats. Hedges also act as 'wildlife corridors' which allows lots of wildlife to move across the local area using safe spaces
  • Community orchard fruit trees encouraging pollinators and broadening the habitat types
  • Amenity grassed areas for use by the general community

In agreeing the design it will also be important to ensure there is a balance between the overall visual effect, ensuring the space is usable by all members of the community and that it can be adequately maintained.

Allowing people who don't have access to the internet going to have their say

Unfortunately, due to the COVID19 restrictions we weren't able to host the usual face to face 'drop-in' style consultation or do leaflet drops. The consultation period was extended to allow those without home access to the internet to access public facilities as local libraries or @The Grange. 

The proposed scheme will result in loss of parking, access and refuse areas for operators and deliveries to @The Grange/ associated shops in the building

The revised parking @The Grange keeps the same number of spaces available and access to allow servicing of the retail and community functions will be maintained. Storage and collection of refuse will continue. Further consultation with stakeholders within the building will be carried out to discuss specific requirements ahead of starting any works on site.

Ensuring safety of all residents during construction

During the construction phase the safety of all, residents and site staff will be of critical importance.

Details of site operations will be set out in a detailed management plan by the selected contractor. The sites, once under construction, will be secured with a 3 m high metal mesh fence and will be monitored by CCTV with additional site security as required.

All appropriate signage will be installed and maintained by the contractor warning against unauthorised entry to site. The contractor will carry out visits to local schools to help educate the local children regarding safety.

Specific areas of key activity adjacent to the sites (e.g. @The Grange, schools, Children's Centre etc) will be clearly outlined to the contractor and contact made with relevant stakeholders, as required, to understand operations and manage requirements. Site operations will be planned and carried out with due care for the activities in the immediate area (e.g. school drop off/ pick up times).

Any issues which are raised during construction by residents will be acted upon by the council. Local residents will be kept informed of key activity on site through regular newsletters.

Will the development worsen land drainage in the immediate vicinity, particularly along the 'Black Path'?

Each of the development sites will have a full surface water and foul drainage system which will ensure all water will be drained by the sites.

Dedicated water storage and release (attenuation) systems will operate to ensure that the sites drain and that there is no worsening of the drainage in any area adjacent to the sites.

While the 'Black Path' is outside of the development area new pedestrian routes to connect to it will be made and it is likely that proper drainage installed on the southern site (Site B) will reduce current excess water that ponds in areas adjacent.

Will properties be adapted for people with disabilities?

The scheme includes five 2 bed true bungalows and two blocks of 30 retirement flats that are designed so they can be lived in by wheelchair users. 

All the housing meets a defined national standard that is 'accessible and adaptable' and so allows for the resident to remain living in the property throughout their life (e.g. allow for ground floor wheelchair use, downstairs toilet and allow for installation of a stair lift). 

This requirement provides reasonable provision for most people to access the dwelling and includes features that make it suitable for a range of potential occupants, including older people, individuals with reduced mobility and some wheelchair users.

Closing the footpath from Gateside Drive to Dingle Avenue

The footpath that runs along the western boundary of Boundary School, from Gateside Drive to Dingle Avenue will be closed. Pedestrians will be able to walk on the new road which runs through the middle of the northern site. For those dropping children at Boundary School the differing bands of drop off times set out by the school for different age groups will provide the time to allow different drop offs to take place.

Impact of the new housing on existing education provision.

As part of the planning application process the need for education provision resulting from the additional residents will be assessed and if required a contribution will be made to fund the education requirements outlined as needed.

Apply for the new homes

More information about how to apply for one of the new homes will be provided when they are close to the point of them being ready for occupation.  This development will not be started for some time so if you are in need of housing now then please visit Home - My Home Choice Fylde Coast for more information about the way the council allocates properties and how you can make an application to be rehoused.