Enterprise Zone land to be reallocated for Eastern Gateway

Plans to create 235,000sq ft of new commercial units at Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone could take another step forward. 

A proposal to appropriate the 10.5 hectare land at the Eastern Gateway of the Enterprise Zone for planning purposes open space land is under consideration by Blackpool Council, which if approved would pave the way for eight new large commercial units on the site. 

The land at the Eastern Gateway has already been released from Green Belt in Blackpool Council’s Local Plan Part 2 which was adopted in February 2023.  

The land was released as a result of the completion of the £6m Common Edge Sports Village, which includes 14 new grass football pitches of varying sizes, along with a full sized 3G football pitch, modern sports pavilion and a new grass rugby pitch. 

The new sports facilities provide a major upgrade from the previous facilities and create a range of new football options for community and youth football teams. Having completed a new road junction to access the site, the sports facilities are now available to hire via Active Blackpool. 

The Council will display Public Notices (“the Notices”) in local media in respect of the proposed appropriation to planning purposes.  The Notices will contain details of where to view a plan showing the area of land which relates to the Notices along with instructions for how to register any comments in respect of the proposal.   

Should the proposal be accepted, work to build a new access road connecting Amy Johnson Way and Common Edge Road could begin early next year. The new road, which is currently in design stages, would include active and green travel routes, along with sustainable drainage to improve biodiversity in the area. 

In addition to the highway, a range of plots would also be available for development and targeted for Class B2 and B8 industrial and warehouse use, specifically aimed at advanced manufacturing, energy, food and drink production and digital technology sectors.  

Plots on the Eastern Gateway would be available on a design and build, joint venture and plot long leasehold basis, and all plots will be provided with access off the highway, landscaping and access to an individual electricity substations. 

Cllr Mark Smith, Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Member for Levelling Up-Place, said: “The Enterprise Zone is well on its way to creating 5,000 quality jobs for local people, and providing new homes for growing or relocating businesses.  

“The new sports village offers a high-quality upgrade to the community sporting facilities in the south of town while also allowing us to look at creating the opportunities for those new jobs to be located.” 

Support to build the new access road at the Enterprise Zone has been provided through a £7.5m grant from HM Government Town Fund, along with consultancy by Cassidy and Ashton and Wildes Consulting. 

A two-week advertisement of the proposal for public comments will now take place before the land is formally appropriated. 

For more information on the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone, visit www.blackpoolez.com.