Planning Approved for New Common Edge Road Sports Pitches

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 airport. 

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.

Cabinet Member 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.”