Son’s brush with death sparks alert

Karl Murphy and his son Joseph Holt after Joseph's accident at Fylde Farm.
Karl Murphy and his son Joseph Holt after Joseph's accident at Fylde Farm.
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A FATHER today told how he feels “blessed” after his son survived a terrifying brush with death.

Joseph Holt plunged down a 12ft hole while free-running in the abandoned buildings on the former Fylde Farm site - and his dad Karl Murphy told The Gazette the 15-year-old was lucky to be alive.

Joseph Holt

Joseph Holt

But he fears another parent may go through the agony of losing a child if bulldozers do not move in at the former school on Normoss Road, near Poulton, soon.

Mr Murphy, from Woodland Grove, Blackpool, said: “I just can’t believe somewhere like Fylde Farm is so open and accessible.

“Kids shouldn’t be playing in there but they’re teenagers, they’re going to and it’s a death trap. I’m so lucky I don’t have a dead kid and he is so lucky - the hole he fell down there were metal brackets on the wall and his head must have missed them by inches.”

Joseph, a pupil at Bispham’s Unity College, seriously damaged his leg in Wednesday’s accident and was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital but discharged the same night.

Karl Murphy and his son Joseph Holt after Joseph's accident at Fylde Farm.

Karl Murphy and his son Joseph Holt after Joseph's accident at Fylde Farm.

A friend, who fell through the hole at the former Dales Secure Unit with Joseph, escaped uninjured.

Mr Murphy said: “Joseph’s a typical 15-year-old who thinks the world is one big playground but when he thought about the accident when he got back from hospital on Wednesday night he was a bit upset.

“I felt so lucky and completely blessed when I saw him on Thursday morning.

“This place is on Facebook and every kid in Blackpool is using it for whatever they want to use it for - messing about with their friends and doing what teenagers do, but it’s a death trap and all the buildings need to be pulled down.

“Joseph keeps on telling me they didn’t break in and they thought they were allowed in there - he knows full well he’s not allowed in there but you can see where the barriers have been broken down.”

The site is currently owned by the North West Young People’s Development Trust - which has declined to comment - but developer Wainhomes has had a planning application for homes approved in principle, and is currently agreeing final details with Wyre Council.

Peter Barlow, the firm’s land and planning director, said: “Wainhomes has contracted to acquire the Former Fylde Community College site from the current owners, once planning permission has been obtained.

“The company is committed to commencing development and is currently working with the Local Planning Authority to try to ensure a satisfactory planning permission is granted as soon as possible, which will allow this to happen.”

Read how The Gazette reported the story:

Stop this madness

Horror fall at Fylde death trap

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