St Annes residents plagued by huge clouds of dust and ‘horrendous’ noise from neighbouring building site

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People living on a street backing onto a St Annes building site are at their wits end due to passing costruction vehicles spraying huge clouds of dust and dirt into their gardens at all hours of the day.

 

Residents of Otley Road and Shepherd Road have been unable to open their windows or make use of their gardens for months due to an ongoing multi-million pound project to build hundreds of new homes on land at the former Department of Works and Pensions site.

Kevin Slater, 53, who has lived on Otley Road for 27 years, said: “For the past 12 months we have been fighting against the noise and the dust. We can’t have windows open because if we open them the dust comes in – we have just had to throw away our curtains and a new pair of blinds. As soon as something comes past, your eyes and lungs are filled with dust, and it’s so thick you can’t breathe.

“The noise pollution is horrendous. Some of the machinery onsite are 36-tonne diggers, and the buckets they use to dig the ground up are 1 to 1.5 tonnes. When they change the bucket, they are dropping it from a height of 6ft, and you can feel it slamming onto the ground. You can see the cracks in the walls.

Clouds of dust blow over gardens on Otley RoadClouds of dust blow over gardens on Otley Road

“We’ve had dirt thrown all over our windows. We actually thought one of the windows had come through, it hit it so hard.

“They’re going to be working on this site for the next two years at least. It makes me very worried. We’re feeling like second-class citizens. They’re building big, £250,000 homes for well-off people, and we don’t matter – we’re just riff-raff.”

Kevin and his family are not the only Otley Road residents suffering as a result of the building work.

John Craven, 47, has COPD – a serious lung condition causing breathing difficulties – and says he has gone from one inhaler a month to three due to the plumes of dust around his home.
The old Department of Works and Pensions site in its heydeyThe old Department of Works and Pensions site in its heydey

He said: “The dust is so bad it gets inside even when your windows are shut. My chest has gone from bad to worse.

“When I bought this house two years ago, I didn’t know this was going to happen. The machines are only eight metres away from the house. People are not happy, to put it mildly.”

Gloria McIntyre, 69, said: “Besides all the cracks that have appeared in the walls, the dust is horrendous. I suffer badly with asthma and I’m coughing constantly.

“If I could afford to move I would, but I can’t afford to move. My bedroom’s at the front of the house and every morning I’m woken up by the whole house shaking. All I want to do is sit down and cry.

“It gets so hot being shut in all the time. I can’t go in the garden. I can’t hang my washing out. It’s so frustrating.”

Tony Green, 49, said: “The plumes of smoke are horrendous. The cars, the garden – everything is thick with it.

“The shaking is unbelievable and they haven’t even started building yet. We’re all dreading it. The building shakes and the pots rattle with the vibrations. There’s cracks in the kitchen, cracks in the living room. It’s been like this for months.”

Residents say they have complained to Fylde Council, property developers Morris Homes, and Fylde MP Mark Menzies about the problems.

A Fylde Council spokesman said: “The Environmental Health Department is aware of complaints received by residents regarding the issues stated. Officers from this department have visited the site and witnessed the issue regarding dust. Officers have also been in contact with both the development engineer and the site manager in order to find a satisfactory resolution to the issue.

“It has been agreed that the track running next to Otley Road is not to be used until satisfactory water suppression has become available on site. This problem is further exacerbated by the lack of any recent rainfall and sandy soil.”

Morris Homes was approached for comment.

Missing Blackpool schoolgirl last seen near town’s hospital

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Faith Lomas is missing from her home in Blackpool – have you seen her?

 

Faith Lomas
Faith Lomas (Image: handout)

Police have launched a missing persons appeal to find a young schoolgirl missing from home.

Faith Lomas is missing in the Blackpool area with officers now concerned for her whereabouts.

Faith was last seen in the Whinney Heys Road area surrounding Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

This was at around 1pm this afternoon (June 22).

Lancashire Constabulary is asking for anyone who has any information on her location to please call 101 and quote log number LC-20210622-0926.

Blackpool keeper Chris Maxwell says return to Championship was always number one goal

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Blackpool captain Chris Maxwell is  keen to prove he can still cut it in the Championship.

 

Maxwell played at that level with Blackpool’s fierce rivals Preston North End, who the Seasiders will be reacquainted with next season.

On his ambition to play in the Championship again, Maxwell said: “That was the open conversation I had. You can see that from the recruitment over the last 18 months – the club, the owner, Ben (Mansford, chief executive) and the gaffer have recruited really well.

Chris Maxwell can't wait for another crack at the Championship

Chris Maxwell can’t wait for another crack at the Championship

“That’s not just in terms of ability and how well players play on the field– it’s the characters that have been brought into the club because they’ve been fantastic.

“The culture and atmosphere of the dressing room is amazing and I think this team is going to do really well in the Championship. I think we’re all set.

“It’s a fantastic league. It’s going to be a test for us but I think we’ll do really well.

“A lot of players in our dressing room have never played at that level, so they’ll be excited and relishing the prospect of proving themselves.

“There are also us guys who have played there before but want to prove we can still do it, so we’re looking forward to it and we’ll all be ready for pre-season.”

Maxwell, whose side will discover their Championship schedule when fixtures are released a week today, has praised the club’s upward trajectory.

“It’s such an amazing place to be at the moment,” the goalkeeper added. “It’s really good off the field. The group, the manager, the staff and the hierarchy of the club all just fits well.

“I believe the club deserved to achieve the success it has this season. We’re all looking forward to next season already.”

Blackpool bring former Everton and QPR winger to Bloomfield Road

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Blackpool bring former Everton and QPR winger to Bloomfield Road

 

The 22-year-old winger has agreed a one-year contract with the option of a further 12 months as the Seasiders look forward to life in the Championship.

Bowler had been a free agent, having joined Everton from QPR during 2017 for a fee rising to £4.25m.

He had been strongly linked with a move to Bloomfield Road after leaving Goodison Park at the end of last season.

Josh Bowler has completed his move to Blackpool Picture: Blackpool FC

Josh Bowler has completed his move to Blackpool Picture: Blackpool FC

Blackpool assistant boss Colin Calderwood to leave for Northampton Town

Bowler told the club website: “I’m so happy the move has been completed, and I can’t wait to get started.

“To come and play for a club like Blackpool in the Championship is really exciting. As a player, you want to test yourself at the highest level, and this is a great opportunity for me to do that.

“Wherever I get the ball, I want to run with it and try and create something.

“I want to get the fans off their seats and entertain them as much as I can, and to work under a coach like Neil Critchley who is renowned for nurturing younger players, I hope to be able to develop my game further.”

Bowler failed to make a senior appearance for the Toffees, but he enjoyed plenty of game time in the Championship during the 2019/20 season – making 31 appearances during a loan spell with Hull City.

He now becomes the fourth player to join the club this summer, following on from Reece James, Daniel Grimshaw and Shayne Lavery.

Head coach Neil Critchley added: “Josh will be a valuable addition to the squad.

“He’s a player who Everton invested in from QPR at the age of 18 and is very good in the final third, where he’s capable of adding goals and assists to the team.

“Now 22, he joins us at a good age and with room to develop and improve his game further.

“He’s had previous Championship experience with Hull, and we believe he can come here and fulfil his potential.”

Blackpool summer signing explains his reason for Bloomfield Road switch

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Playing in the Championship was a major factor in Reece James’ decision to join Blackpool.

 

The 27-year-old became the club’s first signing of the summer, penning a three-year deal with the option to extend by a further 12 months.

The left-back had been offered fresh terms by his former club, Doncaster Rovers, but James – who was also a target for Sheffield Wednesday – indicated his desire to await potential offers from Championship clubs.

“As soon as I knew there was a bit of interest, it was something I really wanted to follow up and jump at, so I’m happy to get it done,” James said of his move.

Reece James will officially leave Doncaster Rovers and join Blackpool once his contract expires next weekReece James will officially leave Doncaster Rovers and join Blackpool once his contract expires next week

Blackpool bring former Everton and QPR winger to Bloomfield Road

“Playing in the Championship was a massive factor in the move, because it was something I had set out to do following what had happened in the season.

“Once I knew there was a bit of interest, it was a massive pull to come here and play in the Championship.”

The defender, who has often played in midfield, will officially join the club on July 1 when his contract at the Keepmoat Stadium expires.

A product of the Manchester United academy, James arrives on the Fylde coast having spent two seasons in Yorkshire.

He made 80 appearances at the Keepmoat and scored nine goals, including one against Blackpool last season.

Prior to that, he spent time with Sunderland and Wigan Athletic, achieving two promotions with the latter.

Born in Bacup in Rossendale, James also spent time with Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End as a teenager.

Blackpool head coach feels privileged to work at Bloomfield Road

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Neil Critchley insists he didn’t need to win promotion with Blackpool in his first season to prove he made the right decision in leaving his role at Liverpool.

 

The 42-year-old previously admitted it would have to take something special for him to leave Merseyside, where he had been working as the club’s Under-23s coach.

In March 2020, Critchley opted to make the leap into senior management to take the reins at Bloomfield Road – a decision that has paid off for all involved.

“I was asked after the play-off final whether this day justifies me leaving Liverpool to come to Blackpool but I didn’t need a day like that to justify it,” Critchley told Blackpool’s end-of-season show.

Neil Critchley and Chris Maxwell celebrate Blackpool's promotion

Neil Critchley and Chris Maxwell celebrate Blackpool’s promotion

Blackpool bring former Everton and QPR winger to Bloomfield Road

“I don’t need justification. The reason I came here was to challenge myself, to improve and work in senior football, men’s football, where you’re working under pressure for results.

“I was a firm believer that we could replicate the environment we had at Liverpool in a senior environment and I was given that opportunity at Blackpool.

“I’m so grateful for that because I’m privileged to work at a fantastic club with great support, both in the stands and from Simon (Sadler) and Brett (Gerrity).

“I’m just honoured to be able to sit here, speak to the supporters and the media, I’m just the front guy if you like.

“There are so many people who could quite rightly sit here and be sharing in what we’ve achieved this season, because there are so many people I’m thankful and grateful to.”

As a coach first and foremost, Critchley’s main responsibility is to work on the training pitch and get the most out of his players.

Seeing a number of players develop through the season has been a source of pride for Blackpool’s head coach.

“As a coach, that’s the biggest satisfaction you can get,” Critchley said.

“When you envisage something in your head and you know where the end point is, it’s the journey along the way which is the most exciting part.

“That’s what myself and the staff enjoy doing, that’s helping the players improve both individually but also knowing what their roles are within the team – therefore the team improves.

“The consistency, the humility and the togetherness has just grown, and through that, the confidence has improved.

“The way we’ve played throughout the course of the season and how we’ve represented this fantastic football club, I couldn’t be more proud of the players.”

Jerry Yates ‘can’t wait’ for Blackpool’s Championship campaign to get underway amid rumoured Blackburn Rovers, Bristol City, Nottingham Forest and West Brom interest

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In-demand Blackpool striker Jerry Yates says he can’t wait for the Seasiders’ Championship campaign to get underway.

 

Fellow Championship sides Blackburn Rovers, Bristol City Nottingham Forest and West Brom have all been credited with an interest in the 24-year-old in recent weeks.

It comes after the striker scored 23 goals in his debut season for the Seasiders, as he played a leading role in firing Neil Critchley’s side to promotion from the third tier.

But, according to The Sun, any side who wants to secure Yates’ services would have to pay £5m, reportedly up from £2m as a result of Pool’s promotion.

Yates, who was recently named PFA Fans’ Player of the Year in League One, signed for an undisclosed fee – believed to be in the region of £200,000 plus add-ons – from Rotherham United this time last year.

He had previously spent time on loan in League Two with Swindon Town, where he netted 14 times in 36 appearances – helping the Robins win promotion.

Blackburn have reportedly targeted Yates as a potential replacement for Adam Armstrong, who is being linked with top flight sides Newcastle United, Southampton and West Ham

Yates played a leading role in Blackpool's promotion to the Championship last seasonYates played a leading role in Blackpool’s promotion to the Championship last season

The Ewood Park outfit value their 28-goal forward at £25m.

Bristol City, meanwhile, were regular viewers of Yates last season, but it’s believed they would be put off by Yates’ hefty price tag.

Yates, who played a handful of games in the Championship during his time with Rotherham, is looking forward to testing himself in the second tier.

“I’m over the moon with how my first season at Blackpool has gone,” Yates told the club website.

“Having had chance to look back on the season now, to score that many goals and contribute the way I have is really pleasing.

“To secure promotion at Wembley is something I’ll never forget. It was such a great day to spend it with some of the supporters who were able to travel down and watch us. I was speechless at the time, given how we won the match.

“Going a goal down so early on gave us a bit of a shake I think and in my opinion we went on to dominate the game and were deserved winners.

“To secure the promotion and to win the individual awards are things I’m really proud of. I think we can look forward to what will be a really exciting season in the Championship, and I can’t wait for it to get started.”