As it has been almost 10 weeks since the approval was given for Mill Farm we think it is important to give you a progress update.

Once a planning application has been granted there is often then a requirement for a formal legal document to be drawn up between the parties, in this case Mill Farm ventures and Fylde Borough Council. For major development proposals these legal agreements take considerable time to complete and we are to this day still waiting for several background reports to enable the completion of the legal agreement. These relate to a number of issues, such as ecology. In addition and prior to development commencing we are currently having to install an 18inch ‘newt and toad fence’ around the whole perimeter of the 31 acre site and to complete the diversion of the public right of way, which itself will cost in excess of £80,000. As frustrating as this may seem, these are just some of the legal complications that we must complete to ensure we comply with all requirements.

At the same time a small protest group headed up by local independent councillor Linda Nulty is putting political pressure at all levels in an effort to prevent the development from commencing. In particular a request has been made to get this application ‘called in’ by the Secretary of State. In simple terms they want the National Planning Casework Unit to review the application and take the decision out of the elected Councillors’ hands, despite the fact that the application received almost unanimous support. We are fully confident that their requests will be rejected, but unfortunately the Council have to follow the legal and democratic process. This all means that the start of the new development will be delayed by several months. On our side we are ready to go and original plan was to start groundwork in early September however this could now move to November/December.

We want to stress that Fylde Borough Council and its planning and legal officers are working extremely closely with our advisory team and this delay in no way reflects on them.

If you have any further questions please feel free to contact me directly on 07711597035. From now on we will give you a weekly update every Friday so you are fully informed of where we are. I know you may be disappointed with this news but all good things are worth waiting for.

James French