New estates in Blackpool will need trees in bid to make resort greener

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Planners have drawn up fresh rules governing how much open space and tree cover schemes need

Blackpool town centre from above

Developers will be required to plant more trees in future as part of the drive to make Blackpool a greener town.

Currently the resort has the lowest tree canopy cover in the UK at just 4.4 per cent compared to the national average of 16 per cent.

This is despite the council having recently planted 3,000 trees in streets and parks with new woodland at Low Moor Road, Mossom Lane, Deerhurst Road and Kingscote Park.

Now town hall planners have drawn up fresh rules governing how much open space and tree cover new schemes should include.

And if developers are unable to plant trees as part of their proposals, they will have to stump up cash instead for tree planting elsewhere.

A supplementary planning document called ‘Greening Blackpool, which sets out the new requirements, says: “A shortage of green infrastructure, particularly in the inner area and town centre compounds the public health deficit in the town.

“The council is working hard to improve housing and revitalise and restructure the town centre, seeking opportunities to create pocket parks, plant trees and green the town, making it a more pleasant and healthy place to live, work, visit and invest.

“Making the urban environment greener, helping to tackle climate change and protecting and enhancing the natural environment and resources is a vital part of delivering a better Blackpool.”

It means in future all new development will be required to retain existing trees and where removal is unavoidable, they must be replaced using native species.

Housing developments of more than three units must provide two trees per home on site, while other types of residential development such as care homes with at least three residents must provide one tree per resident.

If it is not possible to do this on site, developers must pay £1,000 per tree towards planting elsewhere. This could be pooled to pay for urban planting where it can cost up toe £15,000 for a single tree in a hard surfaced area.

The council is aiming to plant 10,000 trees in Blackpool by 2030.