Vision unveiled for multi-million pound holiday site near Blackpool
A £35m holiday park could be built on the edge of Blackpool if plans to transform 165 acres of Fylde countryside get the go ahead.
Pure Leisure Group, one of the UK's leading holiday park operators, has submitted plans to Fylde Council for the scheme on land at Windy Harbour between the A585 Garstang Road and the River Wyre.
The investment, which would become the company’s 15th park nationally, would boast 495 holiday lodges, a 102-bed hotel, a leisure complex including a pool, spa, restaurant, bar, shop, gym and indoor golf facilities, a nine-hole golf course, bio-diversity habitats and a 2km walking trail.
Called Larbreck Golf and Leisure Village, the scheme would also create around 85 permanent jobs plus additional seasonal roles.
There are already separately owned holiday parks on neighbouring sites including The Windy Harbour Holiday Park and Larbreck Hall Caravan Park.
John Morphet, who owns Pure Leisure Group, said: “We have worked hard to design a development of the highest quality, with a range of facilities for our customers and for the local community to enjoy.
“We have a strong ethos of striving to bring improvements to the locations of our parks, of protecting the natural environment and becoming a truly beneficial part of the community.
"Each of our parks supports local employment and contributes towards attracting people into the area, the economic benefits of which are clear.
"We are also committed to protecting the beautiful natural environments in which are parks are located, and have included a biodiversity area within the proposals along the River Wyre.”
The facilities would be open to the community, as well as holidaymakers, including the golf course and practice areas which have been designed by golf course architects Westenborg.
The Windy Harbour site has been subject to numerous planning applications since 1990 when outline planning was first granted for the development of an 18-hole golf course and club house, a 120-bed hotel, and 40 timeshare units.
Extensions and amendments culminated in 2003 with full planning approval for the hotel, 40 holiday lodges and golf course, but the schemes did not progress.
Coun Maxine Chew, who sits on both Fylde Council and Singleton Parish Council, said although she had yet to see the detailed plans, she broadly welcomed the development.
She said: "When the original plans were submitted almost 30 years ago, I vehemently objected to them as I didn't agree with building on countryside.
"But I'm glad to see the site is finally going to see some action as we have had wagons tipping there for years, and that's not been pleasant for people living on Poolfoot Lane.
"I'm disappointed there are as many lodges planned as there are but we'll have to see what planners think of that.
"I also regret it's only a nine-hole golf course but from a commercial point of view I see nine holes are sufficient.
"The company involved are experienced at setting up this type of development and I hope they do a good job and deliver something that will benefit everyone."
The plans are due to be discussed at the next meeting of Singleton Parish Council on Thursday April 25, and will go before Fylde Council at a future date.
Alexis De Pol, managing director of Lancashire planning consultancy De Pol Associates which submitted the application, said: “This is a site with a long history of hope and expectation, but so far there has been no delivery.
"This application will change all that and promises a really exciting future for the site.
“Tourism is a £4.5bn a year economy for Lancashire in terms of visitor spend, and the impact of an investment of this scale cannot be underestimated.
"Not only would it revitalise this stalled eyesore of a site, it would provide a significant boost to the local economy.”
It is also proposed to set up a partnership with Myerscough College to enable its golf management students to use the facilities.
The area is a hotspot for traffic congestion, particularly at the Windy Harbour junction at rush hour.
Developers say a detailed transport assessment has been undertaken which found the development would not have an unacceptable impact.
The majority of journeys to and from the site would not be at peak times, and highways improvements are already planned for the surrounding area.
These include a new new dual carriageway between Windy Harbour and Skippool to bypass the existing A585.
The 2.7 mile Windy Harbour to Skippool section is one of the busiest and most congested along the 11.5 mile road which links Fleetwood to the M55.
Coun Chew said: "I don't think the development will add a huge amount of traffic.
"It is one of those sites a bit like Ribby Hall, that when people arrive they tend to stay and use on-site facilities and are coming on and off at different times.
"So I don't think it will add to the commuter traffic."
About Pure Leisure Group
The North-Lancashire based operator was established in 2004 by leisure entrepreneur John Morphet and employs more than 280 people across its 14 UK leisure parks, comprising more than 4,000 plots.
It has turnover in the region of £44m, and also operates a golf resort in Barbados.
Pure Leisure has been recognised for its commitment to nature conservation and sustainable tourism with the Fell End Holiday Park in Cumbria winning gold in the 2018/19 David Bellamy Conservation Awards.
The group’s holiday lodges, which are available to rent or buy, are rated five stars by Visit England for quality.