Fylde Borough Council’s Planning Committee have
granted permission for work to start on 12 new natural grass sports pitches at
Common Edge Road Playing Fields at Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone.
Subject to meeting outstanding planning conditions,
STRI Group, a contractor specialising in world-class sports surfaces and
facilities, will be on site by early June to start work on drainage, ground
levelling and seeding of the pitches for approximately three months, to ensure
the pitches are ready for the start of the August 2021 football season. Blackpool
Council have been working closely with STRI to ensure that works could still go
ahead safely and all the correct guidelines will be observed with regards to
social distancing during the current Covid-19 crisis.
The new grass pitches will be located on an 11.50
ha Greenbelt site, previously unused open grassland, adjacent to Blackpool
Airport’s runway. The playing pitches will be appropriate for playing sport at
an amateur level and will be laid in various sizes, suitable for a variety of
activities including football, rugby and hockey. There will be five full size
adult pitches, one half size junior pitch and six three quarter sized junior
pitches and will comply with the standards set out by Sport England.
Existing playing fields will not be affected during
these works and perimeter fencing surrounding the new pitches is already in
place serving as a barrier between the new pitches and the adjacent operational
Blackpool Council Leisure Services, who currently
operate the existing Common Edge Road playing fields, will be the operator for
the new grass pitches and will be responsible for the management and
maintenance of the grounds.
Development of phase one development infrastructure
at the Enterprise Zone continues with a further planning application due to be
submitted in June for two 3G pitches, new changing room facilities and a car
park. Cassidy + Ashton Architects are acting on behalf of Blackpool Council.
for Business, Enterprise and Job Creation Cllr
Mark Smith said, “The new sports facilities will be of huge benefit to the
local community and sporting clubs and it’s great that the plans have remained
on track through this difficult lockdown period so that the new facilities can
be ready in time for the 2021 season. Relocating the playing fields also means
that crucial development land can be opened up for further commercial
investment on the Enterprise Zone in the next few years, benefiting the local
community further by attracting new businesses to the area, increasing long
term sustainable job opportunities and boosting the local economy.”