Flightpath fear rejected by council

AFC Fylde Stadium Plans
AFC Fylde Stadium Plans

Work on an £18m stadium and retail complex is set to start in weeks after safety concerns over the use of a helipad close to the proposed site were rejected by councillors.

Fylde Council’s planning committee met yesterday to discuss the Mill Farm development at Wesham after a resident constructed a helipad on his land for use by the North West Air Ambulance.

The Mill Farm scheme in Fleetwood Road includes plans for an Aldi supermarket, pub, petrol station and 6,000 capacity football stadium for AFC Fylde.

But concerns had been raised about the flightpath of helicopters from nearby Wesham House Farm, with claims made that as many as 75 per cent of flights expected to take off over the stadium.

But in fact, councillors rejected the concerns after advice from council planners, who did not feel there would be a safety impact because flights are actually expected to take off north of the stadium, not over it.

AFC Fylde chairman David Haythornthwaite said subject to certain agreements with Fylde Council, building work at Mill Farm could begin next month. It is hoped work could be completed by January 2016.

He said: “I am grateful for the council’s decision. We have to cross the t’s and dot the i’s and have a few more meetings with the council.

“It will take a few weeks but we hope to be on site in the middle of February.”

Fylde Council gave its initial backing to the plans in June.

At that meeting no concerns about helicopter flights near the proposed stadium were raised by members and speaking yesterday, head of planning Mark Evans, recommended this viewpoint should be “endorsed” by the committee when considering the application.

Building work on the site is expected to start next month, once legal agreements between Fylde Council and developers Mill Farm Ventures have been confirmed.