Fury over plan for 1,000 homes

Parish meeting at the Lightning Club at BAE Warton - residents meeting Fylde Council regarding the local plan
Parish meeting at the Lightning Club at BAE Warton - residents meeting Fylde Council regarding the local plan
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Hundreds of furious residents packed into a meeting to criticise plans which could see a Fylde village almost double in size.

The stormy meeting in Warton on Fylde’s Local Plan, saw residents blast suggestions for masses of new housing in the village, with one resident saying the proposals were “a recipe for disaster”.

At the specially-convened parish meeting on Tuesday night, people from across Warton met with Fylde Council officials and councillors for a question and answer session on the scheme at the Lightning Club near BAE Systems.

Many in the audience were heavily critical of the proposals, which could see more than 1,000 homes built in the area before 2030 under the Local Plan, which designates strategic areas for development, employment and mixed use in Fylde.

One of the first to vent his anger at the proposed housing sites was Andy Houghton, 44, of Maple Grove, Warton.

Addressing the audience to rapturous applause, he said: “Does anyone think there is any merit to this? Does anyone at all? I do not think there is anyone here who thinks this is a good idea.”

Stuart Andrews, 60, also from Warton added: “Where is the infrastructure to support this? Where are the businesses?

“We could have more than 1,000 homes and an estimated 1,800 extra cars in the area – there is nothing here at the moment to support that.

“Where are these people coming from to live in these properties?” Other concerns voiced included wildlife preservation areas being built on top of, the need for a new school as part of plans and health and safety.

Coun Trevor Fiddler (pictured left), cabinet member for planning argued the council is “practically in a strait jacket” when it comes to the Local Plan, with the number of homes decided by central Government. He added: “In every public meeting I have been to, people have asked do we need these houses?

“The answer from many is we do not – and I perhaps share that view – but our officers are instructed to provide room for 7,000 homes and we have to find areas to build them.”

After a request from an audience member, Coun Fiddler said he would allow a poll to be conducted by residents.

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