‘Not enough parking’ for football fans

Parking at AFC Fylde's Mill Farm complex has been criticised
Parking at AFC Fylde's Mill Farm complex has been criticised
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The company behind the £18m Mill Farm sports complex that is home to AFC Fylde has been told its parking facilities are “inadequate”.

A planning inspector upheld Fylde Council’s ruling on plans for managing traffic at the complex in Wesham after an appeal by Mill Farm Ventures.

Inspector Beverly Doward highlighted a 2018 game against promotion rivals Salford, which attracted higher than average crowds. All on-site car parking was used, leading to traffic problems and the roundabout on the A585 being blocked.

While planning permission for the sports complex, including the 6,000-seater stadium, was approved in 2015, it was subject to further conditions, including the provision of car park and event managements strategies.

Those strategies were submitted shortly after the first matches were played a the stadium, in 2016. Fylde Council told the inspector the development was currently “in breach of its conditions” as they have not been approved.

Mill Farms Ventures had appealed to overturn the decision to reject its application, which would have seen it fulfil its obligations as part of the original planning permission.

Ms Doward upheld the decision relating to the parking and event management plans, which she said were “not sufficient” to address concerns over the impact on road safety and neighbours’ living conditions, but allowed the appeal in respect of maintenance agreements for communal areas.

She said the lack of adequate parking was “likely to result in delays on the highway network and lead to increased pressure for parking on surrounding streets”.

A Mill Farm spokesman said: “We intend to resubmit a new plan shortly which we hope will satisfy the requirements. In the meantime it’s business as usual.”