£35m boost for Fylde tourism

One of the UK’s leading holiday park operators has unveiled ambitious plans to invest £35m in Lancashire to create a new leisure destination on the Fylde Coast.

Pure Leisure Group is looking to create its 15th UK park on a site at Larbreck in Fylde, creating at least 85 jobs plus other season roles.

The site is known locally as Windy Harbour and has been subject to numerous previous planning applications.

The proposed park would be home to 495 luxury holiday lodges, a 102-bed hotel, a leisure complex including a pool, spa, restaurant, bar, shop, gym and indoor golf facilities, an executive nine-hole golf course, bio-diversity habitats and 2km walking trail.

Carnforth headquartered Pure Leisure, which has another 14 sites nationally and a world-class golf resort in Barbados, is owned by well-known leisure entrepreneur John Morphet and is set to continue its expansion, with new sites being planned across the UK.

The firm has also recently submitted an aplication to create a 215-holiday lodge park at Carnforth.

Lancashire planning consultancy De Pol Associates has submitted plans for the Larbreck development of the vacant 67-acre site.

Sitting between the A585 Garstang Road and the River Wyre, the site spans both sides of Windy Harbour Road, which itself would provide the development’s access point.

Our parks support local employment and contribute towards attracting people into the area

The ‘Larbreck Golf and Leisure Village’ would be open to the local community, as well as holidaymakers.

The golf course and practice areas have been designed by internationally renowned golf course architects Westenborg. Preston’s MCK provided architectural and design support.

John Morphet 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.”

Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland in Lonsdale, where Pure Leisure Group is based, has provided a letter of support for the application, outlining the benefits the parks have had in his constituency in attracting visitors, providing jobs and boosting the economy.

In it he states: “I am happy to endorse both John and Pure Leisure as a potential asset to Fylde communities. I believe that he will bring real benefits to the Fylde in the same way as he has brought benefits to South Lakeland.”

Plans for a partnership with Myerscough College and University Centre have also been revealed. Students from the golf and golf course management courses will be invited to make use of classrooms and facilities on site.

Windy Harbour's past

In May 1990 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 on the Windy Harbour site.

Extensions and amendments culminated in 2003 with full planning approval for the hotel, 40 holiday lodges and golf course.

Some initial setting out for the golf course was undertaken by the previous owner, with the importation of construction and demolition waste to help shape the landscape features. As such, work had started and so the previous planning permission remains.

De Pol Associates has submitted the new, more ambitious plans on behalf of Pure Leisure.

De Pol’s managing director Alexis De Pol 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.”

The application has been submitted and will be determined by Fylde Planning Authority.