Fylde Council has prepared a footway and car park refurbishment plan for the area to the northwest of Wood Street including Wood Street car park. The Planning Committee approved the scheme at its meeting on 22nd January 2020.

Work will commence on the 17th February 2020 and it is predicted to take 12 weeks to complete, however the duration of the work is weather dependent. The area affected by the work is on the western side of Wood Street and from Park Road to St Andrews Road South.

The works include the removal of existing over-mature trees, repaving of the footways that surround the car park, planting of new trees and the introduction of several landscaped areas. Currently there are 4 trees due to be removed as part of the work and these will be replaced with 5 Norway Maples ‘Emerald Green’ which are semi-mature at 20-25 girth and 6m high.

As these trees grow and establish themselves, they will have a significant impact in absorbing pollution, reducing the heat island effect (shading), slow run off from rain and create an attractive place to visit whilst softening the hard landscape with an avenue of trees.

Wood Street car park will be closed throughout for duration of the on-site works. The car park area has not been reviewed for many years and is in need of an uplift to improve the appearance of the street and the conservation area.

Following an appraisal of the existing condition and appearance of Wood Street it was decided that there is a need to rejuvenate and enhance the hard and soft landscape. It is envisaged that these improvements to the appearance of the localised townscape and the conservation area will result in an increase in customer footfall in the area.

Fylde Council would also like to improve the east side of Wood Street too. However, it was decided to commence work on the western side of Wood Street and to revisit the environmental improvement proposed for the eastern side of Wood Street in the future.

Paul Drinnan, Planning Regeneration Manager at Fylde said: The scheme to enhance this part of Wood Street is part of the on-going long-term plan to enhance the look and quality of the overall environment of the town centre and follows on, naturally, from the section on the adjoining St. Andrews Road South. The issue of the loss of the trees was very carefully considered and quite naturally it is accepted that their loss has led to concern from some residents. However, it will be noted that in previous schemes along Wood Street and Clifton Drive the existing trees were retained and supplemented by new ones. In the case of this section of Wood Street, the new trees can be planted to ensure their long-term growth through the use of special rooting systems. In the medium to long term the new trees will have a greater visual benefit and a far greater lifespan that the present trees.

The overall aim of the project is to enhance the attractiveness along this part of Wood Street thereby offering a better setting for the important businesses that are located along its length. The present scheme was delivered 25 years ago and is in need of significant enhancement’’.