Lytham Green & Foreshore

Lytham Green is much loved by locals and is a major tourist attraction. This unique open space,on the edge of the Ribble Estuary, is irreplaceable. Yet it has been a struggle to keep it clear of development. LSA Civic Society believes that we should not allow commercial development in this beauty spot. People come to the Green because it is undeveloped. Every ten years or so we and the residents of Lytham have had to campaign against either a new car park or dual carriageway. We objected to a car park in 1962! A sports centre in the 1970s A casino! A Yates Wine Lodge! We objected to a proposal for a playground in 2013 which would have meant fencing off the area and introducing a cafe.
Lytham Windmill-Listed Building-Lytham Green
Lytham Green and Foreshore covered in snow

A few Facts:

  • Lytham Green was built as a sea defence after the floods of 1720 which destroyed a large part of the town
  • The windmill was built in 1819 and ceased working  after a fire.  Alongside it was a grain drying kiln
  • The old lifeboat house fell out of use as the estuary silted up and the lifeboat station today now houses the inshore lifeboat and shop. The ocean going boat is now in St Annes
  • In about 1934 a large structure was built on the foreshore to enable polluted mussels to be washed, brought from as far as Morecambe Bay. It is divided into 3: one section now houses the Lifeboat shop, one the Ribble Cruising Club and the third section is open space that is part of the Mussel Tank Project

What Happened Next?

  • After the mussel tanks fell into disuse in about 1954, the council decided there should be a café on the 3rd section .  This grew over the years into a series of restaurants (eg Anchorage) and nightclubs ( eg Zanzibar) which failed, ending with the Scruples nightclub as a burnt out wreck in the 1990s
  • The council then decided to sell it to a developer in 1997.  It considered proposals for a Yates’s Wine Lodge on the site,  and  an “Art Gallery” which the plans indicated was a casino.  There would have been accompanying roads across the Green and parking on the foreshore. A great deal of public pressure against the development was put on the council, and the plans were eventually thrown out at a public enquiry
  • The Civic Society embarked upon a fund raising campaign to raise the money to demolish the derelict building, and paid over  £14,000  to the council in the autumn of 1998. The management of The Clifton Arms were so pleased that they opened a bottle of champagne for the “demolition party”.
Lytham Green and Foreshore covered in snow

Want To Know More? Read On…

We have led he way in keeping the area free of development and commercial interests.  Residents become worried and feel powerless against such pressures.

The events which are held on the Green today would not have been possible without our vigilance.  We remain committed against any group or interest having permanent control of it. We are proud of our 2019 Mussel Tank Project ( see Projects section) which has provided a space for all to use and yet again protected the Green from commercial development. The situation has become more acute with the economic downturn and we are keen that all retail and café development should be in the town centre, not on the Green.  There are over 40 places of refreshment  just a few steps away!  Had we and others in Lytham not been vigilant, there would just be a series of car parks , roads and structures with bits of grass in between them.

The Green‘, as it’s often called, stretches from the former Land Registry office (now Danbro) to Fairlawn Road and overlooks the estuary of the River Ribble and the Welsh mountains. It really is a beautiful walk with a picturesque view, enjoyed by hundreds who walk there daily.

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