More than a thousand homes, a school, workplaces and leisure facilities are set to make up a massive new development on the outskirts of Blackpool.
Plans for the large scale development, at Whyndyke Farm, are finally set to be submitted four years after first being revealed.
In addition to a range of family housing and a number of local shops, the scheme will also include a large area of employment development which will support the creation of up to several hundred new jobs
And developers say as well as 1,400 new homes, a school and community facilities, the ambitious plans are set to attract new firms and create new jobs for the area.
Developers have had to overcome issues relating to roads and drainage before submitting a revised blueprint, which is now set to be considered by town hall planners within the next two months.
The proposals, for land between Mythop Road, Preston New Road and the M55 motorway owned by the Oyston family and Northern Trust, have been on the cards since being submitted by the applicant, named only as Whyndyke, in 2011.
Alban Cassidy, chartered town planner and environmental consultant at Preston-based architects Cassidy +Ashton, which has developed the scheme, said: “We have worked on this project for several years and have utilised skills and experience from across both our planning and architectural teams to develop a sustainable, mixed-use development that will help to meet the residential, retail and employment needs of the Fylde peninsula.
“In addition to a range of family housing and a number of local shops, the scheme will also include a large area of employment development which will support the creation of up to several hundred new jobs. ”
The site – which will take about 15 years to develop in full – is mainly within Fylde Council’s jurisdiction, but also partly in Blackpool.
An application looks set to go before Fylde Council’s planning committee either later this month or in June, and before Blackpool Council’s planning committee in June.
Development will see 1,400 houses built, nearly 50 acres allocated to industrial, storage or distribution use, a primary school, two neighbourhood shopping areas, a pub, a health centre and a community centre.
Roads will link the site to Preston New Road and Mythop Road, and other elements of the scheme will include car parking, public open space, sports pitches and allotments.
Natural habitats including ponds, watercourses and hedgerows will be created.
The employment land will be to the south of the site, closest to the motorway, with the primary school on the southern fringe of the housing development on a new road whose junction will meet Preston New Road opposite Clifton Road.
Shopping areas are proposed on land opposite Little Marton Windmill and to the north of the employment area.
Mark Evans, head of planning and regeneration at Fylde Council, said: “The process has been drawn out because there are a lot of technical issues the application has had to address in relation particularly to highways and drainage.
“The applicant has had to work with three highways authorities – Lancashire, Blackpool and the Highways Agency – due to the proximity with the motorway – over concerns in regard to traffic generation.
“These issues have now been addressed. Because the Fylde is so flat, another key issue has been to consider surface water drainage to ensure there is no flooding.
“It is the biggest application Fylde has ever dealt with and a major development.”
Gary Johnston, head of planning at Blackpool Council, confirmed the scheme was expected to go before its planning committee in June.
If outline planning approval is agreed, the next step will be to submit more detailed plans.
A design brief accompanying the application says: “The broad approach to development will be to commence on the Preston New Road frontage and in the northern part of the site, being served by the new road junction associated with the new PCT mental health facility.” This will enable construction of the first 500 homes.
The brief adds: “The phasing is envisaged to continue in a clockwise direction round the site, concluding with the land frontage to the M55 motorway.”
Alan Cavill, director of place at Blackpool Council, said while the council welcomed potential investment, its priority would be to ensure appropriate services were in place.
He said: “We welcome development but only on the grounds it is sustainable and it is our duty to make sure that if people are going to live in these areas, they have the kind of services they expect such as schools, shops, roads and libraries. A primary school is proposed within the scheme, but there will also be an impact on secondary schools in the area and that’s something we’re talking to Lancashire County Council about.”
Gary Smith, of the Mereside Residents Association which represents people living in homes on the opposite side of Preston New Road to Whydyke Farm, said additional traffic would be his main concern.
He said: “Obviously if they build this many houses, it will generate a lot additional traffic.
“I just hope the roads are planned in a way that they can cope otherwise it will be chaotic, like it is in the town centre at the moment.”
A £40m mental health centre, The Harbour, opened on part of Whyndyke Farm last year.