Sports site dream moves step closer

AFC Fylde Stadium plans
AFC Fylde Stadium plans

Ambitious plans to build an £18m sports and science park which could create up to 200 jobs on the Fylde coast have been officially submitted.

The park, on a 32-acre site off junction three of the M55 at Kirkham, includes community sports and education facilities as well as new retail, leisure and commercial development.

The plans for the Mill Farm site were lodged with Fylde Council earlier this week and are the vision of AFC Fylde owner David Haythornthwaite, who hopes to build a 6,000 capacity stadium.

Mr Haythornthwaite said: “The Fylde sports and science park is an ambitious investment in the local economy and has been put together by a team of experts from Lancashire. We anticipate we can create up to 200 new jobs over the next three years, many of them for local people.

“It will also provide local schoolchildren with a modern, state-of-the-art sports science facility as well as excellent community sports facilities which will be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.

“This is a well thought out development plan that will create superb facilities and help fuel the economic growth of the area. If all goes to plan the first phase of the facility could open in September next year.”

The proposals include a hotel, pub, warehouse distribution centre, restaurant, petrol station, outdoor pitches and a planned Aldi supermarket.

Public consultation on the scheme has taken place at two events in Kirkham and Wesham, with residents having their say on the scheme.

But Kirkham Coun Elaine Silverwood said the scale of the plans were “staggering” and were “far too big” for the area.

She added: “I have seen the area suggested. It’s far too big for the area. We have continued to fight out of town developments. Anything that will take people away from the Wesham high street and Kirkham high street I will fight to prevent happening.”