Morecambe Town Council will look into buying Frontierland site

The former Frontierland site in Morecambe
The former Frontierland site in Morecambe

Morecambe Town Council has said it will carry out a feasibility study into purchasing the Frontierland site and developing it for leisure purposes.

This could include compulsory purchase of the site from current owners Morrison's.

The site has been derelict for many years.

The site has been derelict for many years.

Some of the suggested uses are a conference hotel, an ice hockey/skating rink and a velodrome, but the council said that any positive leisure ideas would be considered.

At a meeting last month, the Morecambe Bay Independents group, which controls the town council, put forward a motion that it "will look to buy the Frontierland site, by compulsory purchase order if necessary, for the benefit of the residents of Morecambe and Heysham."

The proposal came after developer Opus North said in October 2019 that the site was now likely to be "residential led" following a "general collapse in interest in the site".

Previous planning applications have now expired and no new proposals have been formally submitted by Opus North or Morrisons.

But after discussion at the Morecambe Town Council meeting in January, the motion was amended to say: "Morecambe Town Council will set up a 'feasibility group' to consider the possibility, logistics and merits of acquiring and developing the Frontierland site for leisure purposes, including by compulsory purchase order if appropriate, for the residents of the district.

"The Town Council will ask for this to be done in conjunction with officers of Lancaster City Council.

"The derelict site has monopolised the promenade for too many years already and must be put back into leisure use.

"Some of the suggested uses are a conference hotel, and ice hockey/skating rink and a velodrome, but any positive leisure ideas would be considered.

"The site can no longer be left neglected as a detrimental divide between the central and west end of Morecambe."

It was agreed that a feasibility group will be established with a view to working with Lancaster City Council to consider the risks and benefits associated with Morecambe Town Council acquiring and developing the Frontierland site for leisure purposes.

In a draft budget for 2020/21 to be heard at a full council meeting on February 6, a capped fund of £10,000 has been suggested to develop the proposal.

Liberal Democrat Coun Jim Pilling, and Renew Coun John Bates, who put forward the budget, noted: "Because of the uncertainties around this, we decided to cap this fund at £10,000.

"Should the Eden Project be confirmed then it is quite possible that the current owners would look to develop the land very quickly afterwards, probably well before we could take ownership.

"Should the Eden Project not go ahead then it would make it very difficult for the Council to develop the land.

"Therefore, it is not wise to commit larger sums of money towards a feasibility study in our view."

It is understood another budget will be put forward by the Morecambe Bay Independents group ahead of the meeting...