Park owner is ‘thrilled’ as new homes approved

Allan Blackburn, Owner of GB Antiques Centre and Lancaster Leisure Park
Allan Blackburn, Owner of GB Antiques Centre and Lancaster Leisure Park

It’s exciting times for Lancaster Leisure Park owner Allan Blackburn.

He has waited 12 years to get planning permission for new housing on his Wyresdale Road site, and in June the city council gave its consent.

Profits from the development of 71 new homes will help revamp the park’s drives and car parking facilities, and the construction of a new 120 seat restaurant is also underway at Country Style Meats Farm Shop.

Allan’s company GB Properties purchased Lancaster Leisure Park in 1998, and the site now boasts eight attractions, including GB Antiques Centre, the biggest indoor antiques and furniture centre in the country.

Allan said: “I’ve always wanted a mixture of affordable and luxury housing on this site and now 12 years to the day, since we first applied for planning, I am absolutely thrilled to be able to announce that the building can now go ahead.”

Within the next three years, Miller Homes will build a total of 71 dwellings with 30 per cent affordable housing. The estate will be made up of 12 two bedroom flats and apartments, and 59 two, three and four bedroom houses, all of which are energy efficient and eco friendly.

Allan continued: “Obviously, there is going to be a lot of disruption early on in this process, but I want to reassure all our visitors that we will do all we can to improve access to our attractions whilst the work is taking place.

“A temporary entrance will be made where the overflow car park is at the moment.

“All the attractions will be open as normal, and there will still be plenty of parking; we would just ask visitors to bear with us for the next few weeks.

“It’s a very exciting time and this project brings so many improvements to the site which will benefit every single one of our visitors.”

Over the last few years, Allan has invested around £1.2m into the site, with three brand new buildings over the last 10 years.

“It’s as much about attracting the right kind of people to the site.

“We waited a long time for the farm shop which has been key to our future, and they invested a lot of money as well.

“We’ve had the brewery in the former garden centre building, which has proved to be a perfect site for a brewery.

“Giggles Play further adds to our diverse and quite unique offer.

“We have the kind of outlets you won’t find anywhere else and there’s still a little bit of room left for expansion.”

As part of the revamp of the park’s drives and car parking facilities, the first thing to go will be the old go kart track, which will be resurfaced along with all the drives and car parks.

Parking spaces will be marked out and numbered, and there will be double the amount of disabled parking.

Once the driveways and new car parks have been finished and all the preparatory work completed, construction of the new houses to the left of the entrance will start in spring 2015