Fleetwood youth centre not wanted by residents over location worry

Boathouse Youth is behind the project

Residents living close to a proposed new youth centre in Fleetwood have set up a petition to oppose it.

A revised application for the newly built two-storey youth centre, earmarked for land at the rear of St Nicholas Church on Broadway. has been submitted to Wyre planners after the scheme was rejected by planning officers two years ago.

Boathouse Youth, the charity behind the project, says that although there is already some good provision in the town for youth-orientated activities, more is still needed.

The latest application initially attracted three letters of objection and three letters of support. But immediate neighbours of the proposed new building say the level of opposition is greater than that.

A petition against it has been signed by 37 people who live in the two apartments blocks close to the site, and is now lodged with planners.

One of those who helped start the petition but did not wish to be named, said: “We are not against a youth centre but this is the wrong place to put it – siting a new, two-storey building right next to flats where older people are living, there will be noise and commotion whenever they leave the centre in the late evenings.

“The applicants have made a few changes to the plans but it still presents the same planning issues as last time. I’m sure there is a more suitable place to site it.”

The planning officer at Wyre rejected the application two years ago on the grounds that the building’s mass and scale would be detrimental to the appearance of the street and would also cause loss of light to nearby neighbours. Another reason sited was potential flooding issues.

In this application, the building’s position has been rotated and the eves reduced in height to counter the main reasons for rejection last time. The centre would offer a range of activities such as badminton, five-a-side football, arts and crafts, pool table, table football, table tennis and karaoke.

Laurance Hancock, chief executive officer of The Boathouse Youth, which already runs centres in Blackpool’s Grange Park and South Shore, said: “Our position on Fleetwood has not changed – as a charity we are looking to provide a fully-funded opportunity for young people to access the kind of amenities which otherwise may not be available to them.”