Developers and council axe plans for £45m adventure park on Stanley Park Golf Course

Plans to build a £45m adventure park on Blackpool Stanley Park Golf Course have been dropped.

UKAP, the wholly owned subsidiary of Holmes Investment Properties, the UK property investment company focused on the leisure sector, and Blackpool Council, have agreed not to proceed with the redevelopment of part of the course. The decision follows significant feasibility work undertaken by UKAP.

The developer was planning to build an adrenalin park and holiday lodges on part of the course on the east side of East Park Drive, with a nine-hole course retained and upgraded on the west side. The 18-hole golf course will now continue to operate in its existing format for the time being.

The parties are working together to secure an alternative site for the development, the details of which will be released in due course, the said.

UKAP retains a lease of Stanley Park Golf Course and HIP will continue to operate the golf course through its operating subsidiary.

Plans for the Family Golf Centre on the site are to be finalised in early 2023. The site will include a new Pod Range, short game practice area, redevelopment of the clubhouse and facilities to include a new retail store.

Cllr Lynn Williams, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “Following the community consultation and listening work we have done with the developer, and in light of the current economic circumstances, we have now agreed that the project is not suitable for the site on East Park Drive.

“This project will create over 100 jobs and bring in tens of millions of investment and is still being considered for another location in Blackpool, one that will already have been designated for commercial use.

“We will continue to work together to protect this investment and job creation for the town. The main elements of design and relevant issues from the consultation can then be transferred to an alternative site so that we can benefit from the work done to date.”

Michael Simmonds, CEO of Holmes Investment Properties, said; “It is disappointing to have come to this decision after so much went into the project, however the 35-40% increase in costs since 2020 make the project unviable.

“Blackpool, and the surrounding area, remains an important part of our roll out plan and we are pleased that our relationship with Blackpool Council and the community will continue as we work together to secure an alternative site to deliver this exciting venture to the area.”

He added: “The Family Golf Centre has always been an integral part of our plans and a direct benefit to Blackpool Residents. The golf centre will enhance the offering at Stanley Park Golf Course, and we look forward to publishing those plans in the first quarter of 2023.”

Public opposition to the adventure park plans, which were first unveiled in August 2019, emerged throughout the year, with calls for a 10,000 flyer campaign and protests in the town, particularly aimed at next year’s local elections in Blackpool.

The main objections to the plan – which involved zip wires, go-karts and climbing walls – were environmental issues and the loss of open space.

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