Appeal over village plan

Supporters and opponents of the proposed sports and football complex near Wrea Green were at St. Margaret's Church hall for the planning meeting.'Founder of the Haythornthwaite Sports Foundation David Haythornthwaite (centre front) with scheme supporters. PIC BY ROB LOCK'4-4-2012
Supporters and opponents of the proposed sports and football complex near Wrea Green were at St. Margaret's Church hall for the planning meeting.'Founder of the Haythornthwaite Sports Foundation David Haythornthwaite (centre front) with scheme supporters. PIC BY ROB LOCK'4-4-2012
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THE bitterly disappointed charity behind an attempt to establish a £10m sports village in Wrea Green will appeal after the controversial plans were thrown out.

The Haythornthwaite Sports Foundation (HSF) said it was astonished the Greenlands scheme - on a former pig farm in the village - had been recommended for refusal by Fylde Council planning officers.

That recommendation was upheld by councillors at a meeting of the planning committee in St Margaret’s Church Hall, St Annes, last Wednesday.

Lytham businessman David Haythornthwaite, founder of the HSF, said: “Clearly we’re disappointed by the decision of the planning committee.

“It is unfortunate that the committee seems to have failed to appreciate the growing need for quality sports facilities in the South Fylde area, facilities that so many young sportsmen and women, from local clubs, schools and the wider community are crying out for, as demonstrated by the strong support shown at the meeting.

“It is particularly sad that so many detractors of Greenlands failed to understand that this is not a commercially-driven project, and is intended to be managed by a charitable trust.

“However, we believe the merits of a project with so many clear and overwhelming benefits for the wider community must, in the end, prevail and we will therefore be seeking to appeal the decision at the earliest date.”

Plans for Greenlands included a new 2,500-capacity stadium for AFC Fylde, football and hockey pitches.

The stadium’s location and size both went against it, as did concerns about the impact it would have on nearby residents – none of who expressed support for the plans.

Objectors included residents, councillors, parish councillors and the Wrea Green Action Group. They said the scheme was not suitable for the village.