Charlie Richards, Head of Projects & Regeneration at Fylde Council, and Anson Forrester from G L Hearn Landscape Architects & Urban Designers, presented a couple of options for Clifton Street Improvement Works at our Open Meeting for Members & Associate Members on 14 June.

In essence, the £1million scheme will focus on the replacement of trees and lighting columns along Clifton Street from Market Square to Station Road.

Two options were presented for business consultation. Common to BOTH options are the following:

1. Felling of all trees in the public realm along Clifton Street.

2. Trees to be replaced in rationalised positions by a more appropriate species (from the pear family) selected to minimise future root system disruption and disproportionate tree growth.

3. The final specific location of the new trees will be dependent on survey and location of underground services.

4. Uplighters for the new trees.

5. Street lighting to be replaced with lighting columns similar in design to those recently installed along East / Central Beach.

6. New lighting columns can be mounted with additional seasonal lighting decorations.

7. Redundant power columns to be removed.

8. Pavement making good and the removal of paving trip hazards.

9. In neither option will the scheme extend to new pavements (other than works outlined above) or street furniture.

The first option shown below is more open and less cluttered and includes the use of tree grilles. This option will entail more underground works prior to the locating and planting of the new trees.


The second option shown below features linear planting beds. This will entail marginally less underground works prior to the locating and planting of the new trees, but potentially more legal and administrative discussions with private landlords whose land would be encroached upon. Option 2 would provide a little more safeguard from paving disruption from tree roots in the future (zero paving disruption cannot be guaranteed whatever species is chosen), as the disruption would be masked by the linear planter to some extent.

Business feedback to date has shown a preference for Option 1 for the following reasons:

A. Less encroachment on private land (the business forecourts).
B. Does not limit forecourt usage.
C. Leaves the street landscape more open and accessible for pedestrians moving at differing speeds, prams, wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
D. Option 2 may present a trip hazard.
E. Option 2 may present a graffiti or nuisance opportunity.
F. Less maintenance.
G. More in keeping with Lytham (if we were to have planters at some key locations such as outside Lytham Institute, a cobbled design would be more in keeping).
H. The loss of planting opportunities could be compensated by hanging baskets on the lighting columns.

Fylde Council is working hard for the Clifton Street Improvement works to be underway by January 2024 (to disrupt businesses the least), the majority completed by May 2024.

The Council will be in discussions with those businesses and landlords directly affected, and none of these improvements can be undertaken without some business disruption as they work along Clifton Street.

The scheme options are both within budget if they are able to start in January 2024, and the council would prefer in major part NOT to mix the two options, as the preparation of the tree pits will differ.

We will have to manage public and customer reaction to the concept of tree felling in leafy Lytham (and counter with the vision of what the replacement street landscape will look like), and we will need further visuals to spread the message.