£200m ‘garden city’ plan gets the nod

Land at Whyndyke Farm, off Preston New Road, which is earmarked for 1,500 new homes.
Land at Whyndyke Farm, off Preston New Road, which is earmarked for 1,500 new homes.
  • 1,400 homes to be built on land at Whyndyke
  • 350 two-bed, 700 three-bed, 280 four-bed and 70 five-bed properties
  • New primary school and health centre planned
  • Fears raised over traffic links to the 225-acre site
  • Cash pledged towards secondary school places elsewhere
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Ambitious proposals for a £200m development which will see 1,400 homes built on the edge of Blackpool have been approved by planners.

The scheme, dubbed an opportunity to create a ‘garden city’, will also see a primary school, shops and a health centre built on 225 acres of land at Whyndyke Farm, alongside junction 4 of the M55.

Alban Cassidy, director of Cassidy and Ashton architects

Alban Cassidy, director of Cassidy and Ashton architects

Around 50 acres will be set aside for employment with manufacturing and distribution companies expected to locate there.

Blackpool Council’s planning committee agreed an outline application when it met last night.

Fylde Council, under whose planning jurisdiction the majority of the site falls, approved a similar application in June.

Work could begin at the end of next year on the site which is owned by a consortium including the Oyston family.

This is probably the only opportunity we will get in the greater Fylde area to have the nearest we can to a garden city

Alban Cassidy, director of Preston-based architects Cassidy and Ashton

Alban Cassidy, a director of Preston-based architects Cassidy and Ashton which has brought the scheme forward, told the committee: “Hopefully you can all support the scheme which I am confident will be an asset to this area.

“What we have is a genuinely sustainable development.

“We already have interest from national house builders, but also from a local doctors’ practice which wants to establish a new surgery there.

“This is probably the only opportunity we will get in the greater Fylde area to have the nearest we can to a garden city.

“I am visiting places like Port Sunlight and Letchworth to glean ideas to take this forward.”

Councillors raised concerns about traffic and the impact on health services.

Coun Adrian Hutton, who represents residents of the nearby Mereside estate, said: “I hope the proposed access into the site works is better than the junction at the Harbour (mental health hospital) which is a nightmare at the moment.”

Coun Ian Coleman said: “We are having 1,400 homes built.

“If you think of four people per household, that’s 5,000 people.

“That would put pressure on Blackpool Victoria Hospital.”

But the committee agreed the application for the scheme which will take around 15 years to construct in phases.

The plans include 350 two-bed, 700 three-bed, 280 four-bed and 70 five-bed properties on the northern part of the site along with a two-form primary school and two neighbourhood centres containing retail space, a health centre, a pub, a café, offices and a takeaway with vehicle access onto Preston New Road and Mythop Road.

Legal agreements will ensure payments are made by the developers towards affordable housing in Blackpool and Fylde, as well as funding towards increasing capacity in local secondary schools.