Stadium dream goes before planners
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League AFC Fylde has submitted ambitious plans to build an £18m dream home to their local authority.
Officials at the Premier Division’s Coasters announced on Tuesday that they’d formally submitted their vision for the Mill Farm Sports Village in Kirkham, a state-of-the-art project that will bring hundreds of new jobs to the Fylde coast.
The plan for the Mill Farm site centres on a new stadium plus community sports and education facilities, as well as new retail, leisure and commercial development that could create 200 new jobs. The application is likely to be considered by Fylde councillors later this year. If it gets the go-ahead, the Coasters say the first phase could be completed by September next year.
The proposed development is on a 32-acre site off junction three of the M55 outside Kirkham and includes a sports science building providing a range of educational and sporting activities for local schoolchildren.
The new AFC Fylde stadium would have a 6,000 capacity and include a modern 2,000 all-seater main stand with supporters’ bar, executive boxes and a function room. There will also be a number of state-of-the-art all weather pitches, a full-size floodlit football pitch with a 3G surface and a national level hockey pitch. The development also includes a food store, a distribution centre with associated office space, a 63-bed hotel, petrol station and a public house.
David Haythornthwaite, Chairman of AFC Fylde and head of the Lytham-based Tangerine Group, is behind the ambitious project. He said: "We have listened closely to local people. I believe we have now submitted to Fylde councillors plans that will be of major benefit to the well-being of the local community and the economy. It is a well-thought out and carefully-considered plan, creating fantastic sporting facilities for local people and bringing much-needed employment to the Fylde Coast.
"The site is allocated for employment and leisure uses in the emerging Fylde Local Plan and this proposal directly addresses the council’s and national Government’s aspirations surrounding sustainable development. We believe this is exactly the kind of investment our area needs in exactly the right location."
AFC Fylde’s plan has been drawn up by leading North West architecture and design practice the Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP). FWP has worked on projects with Preston North End and Fleetwood Town and is developing stadia and community assets for clubs such as Oldham Athletic, FC United of Manchester, Peterborough United and Berwick Rangers.
David Robinson, managing partner at FWP, said: "We have worked very hard to create a vibrant and modern development that will be a real asset to the community and the local economy. If it gets the go ahead this will be a high-quality development that can help sustain the local economy and provide new and exciting sporting and leisure facilities to benefit everyone."
* The Coasters say a model of the development is available for local people to view at the AFC Fylde shop in Kirkham. Members of staff are also available to answer any questions from 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday and from 9.30am to 12.30pm on Saturdays.
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