Ex-Blackpool FC owner Owen Oyston loses Supreme Court appeal to build 1,150 homes on Fylde coast

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Owen Oyston, who formerly owned Blackpool FC, has had his large scale plans for more than 1,000 homes at Lytham Moss rejected by the Supreme Court

Owen Oyston

Owen Oyston (Image: PA)

The former owner of Blackpool FC has lost a Supreme Court battle to build more than 1,000 homes on the Fylde coast.

Owen Oyston, through his company Fylde Coast Farms Ltd, had been given the green light to build 1,150 new homes at Lytham Moss, land on the edge of St Anne’s when the company was known as Oyston Estates Ltd.

But despite Mr Oyston pushing for the site – east of the Queensway development – to be included in the local neighbourhood plan, it was rejected by Fylde Borough Council in 2017.

This was after a referendum in which 90% of the public voted in favour of the draft plan as it was presented; excluding Mr Oyston’s housing scheme.

At the time, the council said the plan “meets the basic conditions and its promotion process is compliant with legal and procedural requirements”.

The decision came despite an independent examiner of the draft plan saying Mr Oyston’s housing project should be included given the council’s then inability to demonstrate a five-year supply of new housing.

St Anne’s on the Sea Town Council also rejected it as part of its St Anne’s on the Sea Neighbourhood Development Plan.

Mr Oyston, who is listed as the only director of the firm on Companies House, appealed the decision to the High Court and Court of Appeal.

And now, the Supreme Court – the highest court in the country – has given the housing plan a firm no and also sided with the council’s original decision.

The case was heard before Lord Lloyd Jones, Lord Briggs, Lady Arden, Lord Sales, and Lord Stephens on May 9.

Explaining the decision, Lord Briggs and Lord Sales stated it was not for “technical legal arguments” to undermine the legitimacy of a referendum outcome.

“Parliament would not wish to allow the outcome of a referendum to be set at nought by reason of technical legal arguments which could have been sorted out before the referendum was held,” they noted.

“That would risk creating scepticism and disaffection with the new procedure which could undermine rather than promote public engagement.

“For those reasons, although differing to a limited extent from the reasoning of the courts below, we would dismiss this appeal.”

Fylde Council and Owen Oyston were both contacted for comment.