Plans to develop the Mill Farm Sports Village to the north of Kirkham have been given the go ahead by Fylde councillors, paving the way for the new state of-the-art football ground which will be home to AFC Fylde.
Members of the Development Management Committee voted to approve the application for a 6000-seater football ground, community sports facilities as well as retail, leisure and commercial opportunities at the site close to junction three of the M55.
Consent for the planning application came after over 700 local people signed a petition in support of the proposal, which will allow AFC Fylde to expand and continue its outreach work via its Community Foundation.
David Haythornthwaite, of Mill Farm Ventures, said: “I am delighted that the council has granted permission for the Mill Farm Sports Village and that councillors recognised what our project will bring to the area.
“AFC Fylde is much more than a football club, we aim to be part of the community. Getting the go ahead for this project will help the club grow and deliver investment locally, it will bring more jobs and facilities to the area and the boost the local economy.”
Recently, an independent survey commissioned by Mill Farm Ventures found that 74% of local residents polled said that they were either strongly supportive or supportive of the Mill Farm Sports Village.
Preston-based planning consultancy PWA Planning worked with local architects Frank Whittle Partnership in the submission and management of the planning application which will also include state-of-the-art all weather pitches in addition to an Aldi store, a new distribution centre for leading wholesaler Trilanco, and a commercial centre.
Aldi, which was named Retailer of the Year 2014, plans to open the new 1,500 sq m store by mid-2015, creating around 30 jobs within the community. Fylde Council predicts that the development could lead to the creation of over 400 jobs.
It is hoped that the work will begin on the site in September, with construction of the initial phase of the development including the football ground expected to take around 12 months.