Online debate removed over abusive comments

FUTURE: The community centre

FUTURE: The community centre

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An online consultation into Keyworker Homes’ plans for Garstang’s community centre has been removed – because of abusive comments.

The Blackpool-based developer had posted an outline of its plans to redevelop the centre into flats and retail units, and invited residents to comment.

However, the page has now been removed, with Keyworker Homes saying planning protocol and online abuse was thereason for the decision.

A statement from the firm said: “Whilst Keyworker expect some level of inappropriate language and comment, those received through our website are beyond what we can reasonably expect our employees to deal with and this, coupled with planning protocols, sealed our decision to remove the page.

“We welcome appropriate feedback – abuse is not something that is credible and lets down the majority of Garstang residents.”

The company added that council rules around the submission of planning applications were another factor in its decision.

The long-running saga over several years has seen residents of Garstang campaign and protest against the sale and especially the loss of a town centre car park.

Originally the application included building retirement flats on the land but that has been scrapped with the revised plan appearing to have taken locals’ views into consideration. The retail outlet which would be built on the site has been touted as either a Marks & Spencer Food or Waitrose, although nothing has been finalised with the plans set to be submitted in early March.

If plans are approved by Wyre Council’s planning committee, work is set to begin at the end of summer.