Development plans for adventure park on Stanley Park golf course are ‘problematic’ says Councillor Williams

Golfer on the tee

Conservative councillor Tony Williams believes the potential development on the Stanley Park golf course site may cause huge problems. 

The golf course is the only of its kind on the Fylde coast as it’s the only 18-hole municipal course. 

United Kingdom Adventure Parks (UKAP) are looking to buy 39 acres of the site, which would bring a reported £45 million investment into the town plus a number of jobs. 

However, in turn would change the current golf course from an 18-hole to a 9-hole course. 

UKAP’s plan for the site is to open 250 holiday lodges along with a themed mini golf course, a virtual reality room and a go-kart track.  

Williams has voiced his displeasure over the plans, voting against them in a recent council meeting. 

“I’m totally opposed to it. This is going to be 250 holiday lodges, I haven’t seen designs or plans yet and the problem with that is it’s going to cause a lot of traffic,” he said. “It’s going to be problematic in terms of access and it’s just not right for the area. This is a residential area next to a hospital and I just don’t think it’s the right development for this site.” 

The councillor also believes the development plan will be problematic for emergency services. He said: “It will be on is East Park drive and that’s a main arterial route for ambulances coming from the South and it’s pretty congested as it is. Any delays to emergency services using that route is going to cause a huge problem.” 

Some of the local residents have also voiced their concern at the proposed holiday lodges, as they collected over 8,000 signatures against the plans. But councillors voted not to act on it. 

When challenged on the jobs and money it may bring into the town, the councillor believes the developers should look elsewhere in the town. 

“Jobs are always welcome but why don’t they have the site somewhere else. There are more suitable areas where we can do this.” Williams said. 

He said: “As much as I welcome investment and new jobs into Blackpool, they have got to be the right jobs and they have got to be the right investment.” 

The course was designed by Doctor Alister Mackenzie, who designed other famous courses such as Royal Melbourne, Cypress Hill and even the Augusta national. 

“Internationally, golf is not popular as it was and of course we don’t have the best weather in this part of the country. So, it’s natural to think that golf is not as popular as it was before.” he said. “Having said that, a lot of people would want to play on a Mackenzie designed course and it’s an excellent course.” 

In a recent council meeting between 30 councillors, 17 voted to uphold the sale of the site and for a development, whether that be the holiday park or another plan, to go ahead. 

Meanwhile 13 councillors, including Williams, voted against.  

The developers (UKAP) are yet to submit for planning permission however have done a scoping exercise to see what problems the site may have. 

Williams believes it’s vital for the town to keep some of it’s green space and has even suggested an alternative plan of turning the space into a wildlife park. 

He said: “I would much prefer it be made into a wildlife park for people to enjoy. It is open access, so anyone can go in there and use it, you can’t change the status of that.”