SO Preston has its long-awaited Tithebarn project – or at least permission for it. Who is going to sump up £700 million for a shopping centre in this economy is anyone’s guess so, much as with Blackpool’s ill-fated casino plans, we’re going to see years of potential developers being scared off by the potential behemoth in their midst.
But far more interesting is the small print. Apparently, according to the Lancashire Telegraph’s estimable Tom Moseley, the inspector accepted the arguments by Blackburn and Blackpool councils that the scheme would kill more than 1,000 jobs in surrounding towns.
That’s on top of the 1,000 jobs going at Blackpool Council. And 2,000 or more at Blackpool’s civil service sites.
That’s on top of the fact that the inspector believes the scheme will clog up Preston’s already congested city centre.
So why did he approve the scheme? Erm, he didn’t.
Apparently he’s been over-ruled by Tory minister in charge, Eric Pickles, who was, perhaps, excited by the prospect of the Tithebarn’s array of pie shops.
So that’s Blackpool shafted in three different ways in six months under the new administration . . . which rather begs the question, when are they going to do something for us?