A BUSINESSMAN is holding on to his dream of a £10m multi-purpose sports facility in the Fylde countryside.
The Greenlands Sports Village is planned for a 26-acre site at a former pig farm in Wrea Green.
It is the vision of David Haythornthwaite. But it has infuriated residents who simply do not want it in the village.
The complex, expected to go before planning councillors in December, will be home to AFC Fylde and used by the community, including young sports lovers. It will be financed by the Haythornthwaite Sports Foundation and some facilities will be free to use during the day.
Protesters say it will bring traffic, noise and other elements that are not welcome to rural life.
Mr Haythornthwaite told the Express this week: “The most frustrating part is there has been a lot of scare mongering by certain elements of the protest group. I sincerely believe it is a vociferous minority and they ultimately have put the fear of God in the older residents. The use of the word ‘stadium’ suits their campaign because it suggests a huge complex.
“I think it is very important and quite ironic that many of the same people who live in Wrea Green still were the original protesters who were vociferously against Ribby Hall and yet I think everybody in the Fylde community would agree it has been a tremendous benefit to the community as a whole. I passionately believe in years to come when people see the benefit of the experience we are trying to achieve it will be put in the same esteem as Ribby Hall.”
Mr Haythornthwaite bought the site from Persimmon Homes and therefore may well have saved it from housing. And though he is aware some folk are cynical as to his intentions, he said: “I love the Fylde. I love sports and I’m passionate about kids, I have three of my own, so I know.
“I want to put something back into it.”