Fylde villagers' new homes fury

RESIDENTS in Wesham are being urged to attend a meeting about controversial plans to build 200 houses on farmland.

Campaigners say the plans to develop land close to Fleetwood Road recreational ground by Metacre Ltd go against Fylde planning regulations.

The Chorley-based company wants to build the new development on arable farming land, which has been designated as a countryside area by Fylde Council.

Hundreds of local people are expected to attend the meeting at 7.30pm on Thursday at Wesham Community Centre to voice their opinions on the plans.

Although the proposals have not yet been submitted, campaigners say new homes are not needed in the town.

Coun Alan Clayton, from Wesham town council, said: "We are aware a planning application to build 200 homes is in the pipeline but it will be met by a certain amount of anger by the public.

"The land nearby has significant importance and should not be disturbed.

"Wesham already has its fair share of new housing.

"We want people to come to the meeting and voice their concerns."

John Westmoreland, secretary for the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Fylde District Group, and also a Wesham resident, said proposals go against the local plan.

He added: "The CPRE would be opposed to the development of this land for three reasons.

"Firstly, the land is working arable farmland and such land should not be used in preference to alternatives such as previously-developed sites.

"It's also open countryside close to Wesham Marsh, a protected County Biological Heritage Site, and finally, the land is outside the settlement boundary of Wesham and is designated as Countryside Area in the adopted Fylde Borough Local Plan, and consequently is protected from dev-elopment."

The public meeting will also discuss plans for the Medlar-with-Wesham Parish Plan – a blueprint for the future of the area. The plan has now been published and is currently being circulated.

An officer from Fylde Borough Council planning department will also be in attendance.

More details are at www. weshamforum.blogspot.com