Rural fears over 'city of Fylde'

FEARS about urban sprawl spreading across rural Fylde were expressed this week as residents were faced with controversial development plans.

Plans for a new housing estate has led to concerns about over development between Kirkham and Wrea Green.

Furious Wrea Green villagers are fighting plans by developer Les Blanc Bois Holdings Ltd for 55 houses on land on Richmond Avenue.

Meanwhile, Fylde businessman David Haythornthwaite wants to create the Greenland Sports Village - featuring a football stadium for non league AFC Fylde - at Greenlands Farm, Ribby Road, Wrea Green.

The scheme has met with mixed reaction.

In addition, angry residents are battling against a huge housing development in Wesham.

Metacre Ltd, a company owned by Blackpool Tower owner Trevor Hemmings, wants to build 264 new homes on agricultural land off Mowbreck Lane, Wesham.

Local pressure group Wesham Action Group and Wesham Town Council both oppose the scheme.

At an exhibition to unveil the sports complex plans at Wrea Green CE Primary School on Thursday, one resident Frank Hardman, 78, who has lived in Wrea Green for 22 years, said he preferred the sports complex to housing.

He said: "We are all worried Wrea Green will be joined to Kirkham through the houses being built."

Fylde Borough councillor for Kirkham North, Independent Elaine Silverwood, said: "It is a major concern. When this proposal came forward at Wesham it was for something like 200 houses which is too many.

"We're talking rural areas, we're talking greenbelt land and open spaces and we don't want to lose that because it's precious."

Coun Silverwood, who is also a Kirkham Town councillor, said: "I accept that there is a need for housing but they have to be done in appropriate numbers in appropriate areas.

"People do talk about it as a concern because you see it happening in other parts of the country where you can no longer distinguish between one town or village and the next.

"The thing that you have to remember is when the land has gone - it has gone - you can't get it back."