£18m sports village revolt
Hundreds of people are expected to turn out in force tonight for a special meeting into a planned £18m sports village.
Members of the campaign group Save Wesham and Kirkham (SWAK), alongside Wesham Town Council, have called the consultation after plans were lodged with Fylde Council to build a 32 acre complex on land at Mill Farm on the A585 in Wesham.
The scheme, submitted by Mill Farm Ventures Ltd, includes a 6,000 capacity stadium for non-league football club AFC Fylde, a sports science building, five football pitches and a distribution warehouse, but concerns have been raised about the impact the development could have on the area.
A statement on the SWAK website states: “We are a group of concerned business people and residents of Kirkham and Wesham who are fighting against the proposed development of the Fylde Sports and Science Park. It is a retail, leisure and commercial park which has been submitted by Mill Farm Ventures Ltd.
“This industrial development could lead to the destruction of beautiful countryside and woodland, extend the size of Wesham by half a mile and bring increased traffic levels to an already busy dangerous main road.”
AFC Fylde chairman and Mill Farm Ventures Ltd board member David Haythornthwaite hopes to create up to 200 jobs at the site.
He said: “We are quite mystified about this – the meeting has been very secretive and only set up very recently.
“The group behind this has set up a website but it is anonymous. I’m looking forward to going to the meeting myself. The majority of people going I believe are in favour of the scheme.
“I’m pretty disappointing with the stance some local councillors have taken. We intend to be there and want to answer any questions people may have.”
The plans, which include a hotel, pub, restaurant, petrol station and a planned Aldi supermarket, have raised concern with community leaders in the town.
Wesham Coun Linda Nulty said: “We at the town council are putting an open session together to show people the plans and what has come in to gather everyone’s thoughts and views.
“Opinion is very mixed and that is why everyone should get together this evening.
“We will start with an information session run by fellow Wesham Coun Alan Clayton, then have an open discussion with the public.
“The hall holds just about 200 people so I suggest people get there early.”
The meeting is at the Wesham Community Centre in Church Road from 6.30pm.