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Youth Centre plans for Fleetwood refused

Plans for a new purpose-built youth centre in Fleetwood have been refused by Wyre Council – but the charity behind the scheme has vowed to appeal.

The Boathouse Youth, a Blackpool-based charity, proposed to build a two storey facility close to St Nicholas Church in the town, from where it would host a range of activities for young people.
The charity said it would help fill a void in youth amenities in Fleetwood that desperately needed to be addressed.
However, the planning application was refused when it was dealt with last Friday under delegated powers, instead of going before a planning committee.
Laurance Hancock, chief executive of Boathouse Youth, said: “Our disappointment at this decision is on behalf of Fleetwood’s young people.
“Without hesitation we will be appealing the decision, and remain hopeful that this fantastic space will be a part of Fleetwood’s future.”
The decision to refuse the scheme was slammed by Coun Colette Fairbanks, of Fleetwood’s Pharos ward, who said: “I am so disappointed in this decision as the youth of Fleetwood really needed this service.
“I am also very disappointed that this decision was taken away from local councillors and made without asking any members of the planning committee their thoughts.”
However, Wyre Council said applications were generally dealt with by delegated powers when there had been no request at ward level for the application to be considered by planning committee.
The application, which had received a number of objections by neighbours, was refused on three counts.
It was considered that its mass, height and scale would be detrimental to other residents due to loss of outlook and daylight; and that it would also be detrimental to the appearance of the street scene.
It was also deemed that the development would be sited in flood zone three and inadequate evidence has been submitted to show there were no reasonably available sites with a lower probability of flooding.
The Boathouse proposals were welcomed by many in Fleetwood when they were made public in February, although some providers of existing youth amenities in the town challenged the view that there were no youth activities already.
Boathouse said the first floor space would be large enough to include activities such as badminton and five-a-side football, in addition to various arts and crafts activities.
Downstairs there would be a room called The Base with a permanent set-up including a pool table, table football, table tennis and karaoke, and then a smaller hall for “messy play”, baking, coking and the creative arts.
The sessions would be aimed at young people aged five to 18.
Mr Hancock, who is already preparing his appeal plans, said earlier this year that private sector funding for the “half a million pounds” project has already been secured.
 

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