top of page

Advertise Here.

Read Full Story Here...
Formby School of Dancing & Perfoming Arts new banner.jpg

Range High get involved in the Battle for new Formby sports facility

When the story went out in our last newspaper about the Parish Council proposed plans to build a brand new sports facility within the grounds of Formby High School, it caused outrage by dozens of residents, many of whom have written to Formby Bubble (some letters have been published on the letters page). The source of the opposition is due to the sports facility that was proposed by Hugh McAuley across the bypass which had thousands of residents backing it but was still thrown out of the Local Plan by the Inspector.

We now know that it was in fact Formby High School that came up with the idea and asked the Parish Council to put the proposal forward. Headteacher at Formby High School, Mr Mackenzie said:

"For the past 12 months, we have been working with several partner organisations on a potentially exciting development of a community sports hub at Formby High School. Should the plan come to fruition it will considerably enhance the amenities available to the people of Formby, enabling them to participate in a wide range of sports during the evenings and weekends, including football, tennis and netball."

"Local residents have recently received a leaflet that was distributed by the Parish Council outlining the proposal and there will be an opportunity to find out more information during the consultation that will take place in the Autumn."

Headteacher at Range High School, Mr G Aldridge sent a letter out to parents on 14th July in reply to the new sports facility. He said:

"We have recently been made aware of a proposal to enhance the sports facilities at Formby high School. In order to pay for this, Formby Parish Council are proposing an increase in the Council Tax for Formby Residents."

"The first time that we were made aware of the proposal was when the parish council recently sent out a leaflet advertising a consultation survey. Prior to that we had not had any contact regarding this proposal from the parish council, Sefton Council or Formby High School. We have, this week, met with representatives from the parish council to find out more about the proposal."

"We agree that better sports facilities in Formby would benefit the whole community. All Schools are entitled to develop their own facilities, However, we strongly believe that it is unfair to expect Range High School families to pay increased Council Tax to subsidise facilities for the use of pupils at another school."

"We are disappointed that neither the Parish Council nor Sefton Council chose to consult Range High School when deciding how to address the issue of sports facilities in the town. We are even more disappointed that sefton council has. In the past, rejected a proposal that our own multi-use games area (MUGA) should have floodlighting and be adapted for community use. They rejected it because they claimed it would not pass the planning stage as we are in a proposal. More recently, applications by Range High School for public funding to upgrade our Sports Hall/Arts Theatre area have been rejected."

"We will be pressing the Parish Council to ensure that any expenditure intended to benefit the whole local community is done in an equitable manner and not to the detriment of our pupils."

"If you, as a Formby Council Tax payer, wish to respond to the current informal survey. Please consider the issues outlined above before you respond."

Hugh McAuley said: "I would ask Sefton Council to review my planning proposals and I would ask for the community and people of Formby to continue to support my project."

Formby Parish Council have released a statement in response to comments that were published on the Formby Bubble Facebook page. The statement says: Formby Parish Council were given the opportunity to make a decision on the proposed employment / retail sites by the Inspector for the Sefton Local Plan, namely, (1) the proposed employment site to the north of Stevenson Way or (2) the proposed employment / retail site to the south of Tesco, which was an enabling development needed to fund a proposed sports development.

The Parish Council took independent advice and at the meeting of the 3 January 2017, decided that, due to the complexity of the planning decision and the legality of this being questioned by Sefton Council, the decision to choose the employment site should be made by the Planning Inspector. The minute is reproduced in full below:

Cllr Bennett reported that following the questions raised by Cllrs during discussions in December, Mr Pike had responded to clarify the points raised (information circulated to Cllrs); although it was noted that Sefton Council have expressed concern over the legality of the Parish Council making the decision, which could affect them determining if the Neighbourhood Plan meets the basic conditions.

Mr Pike clarified that neither site will be removed from the green belt at this stage. Once the decision on the employment site allocation is made then the greenbelt will be re-designated to allow for that development; there will be no “safeguarding” of the other site to come forward later.

Cllrs noted that the choice was to either refer the decision back to the Inspector or to put the decision out to a referendum of the local community through the Neighbourhood Plan process and hold a further 6-week consultation just on this issue.

Cllrs noted that the Sainsbury decision by the Secretary of State had gone in favour of Sainsbury’s. It was considered that this would have an impact on the village centre and therefore be a consideration if the Parish Councils were to choose the site. Cllrs expressed major concern that the local knowledge of flood risk on both sites complicates the issue; Cllrs felt it would become a moral decision as it was considered that both sites would heighten the risk of flooding to residents and businesses.

It was resolved to refer the decision on the choice of employment site to the Inspector to make as part of the Sefton Local Plan.

Cllrs voting preferences were recorded: Cllrs Irving, Baxter, Coles, Williams, Stinner, Broadbent, Hearn, Prescott and Gwyther voted in favour. Cllrs Bennett and McCann voted against.

Little Altcar Parish Cllrs present voted as follows: Cllrs Irving, Wield, Baxter, Kolassas voted in favour. Note: a quorate of LAPC attended to have a joint discussion on this item.’ Mr Pike referred to in this minute is the Government appointed Planning Inspector for the Sefton Local Plan. Ends

The proposed sports facility would have to be part paid for by the public through their council tax. Fixed rate repayments over 5 years would cost a Band D household in the region of 32p per week on their precept and it will not be possible to deliver this project without the support of the residents. The Parish Council still need to know your views, you should have received a leaflet through your door with all the details or you can look on Formby Bubble website to see the leaflet.

Cllr Maria Bennett said: "Once we have the opinions and views of our residents we will then move to a public consultation in September for 4 weeks. I would like to think that our community will get behind this and support it in order to offer a fantastic facility for use by all the community for the future."

The facility is intended to be built in 3 phases: Phase 1: Floodlit artificial (sometimes called 3G) playing pitch for football

Phase 2: A wide range of other new facilities for netball, basketball, tennis courts and other sporting activities

Phase 3: Development of an indoor gymnasium, outdoor athletic facilities, cricket and indoor sports activities.

Please go to the survey which will only take two minutes to fill in at: or collect a copy of the survey from Formby Library. Closing date is the 11th September for all responses.

Here is a copy of the leaflet:

The survey can be found at: or collect a copy of the survey from Formby Library. Closing date is the 11th September for all responses.

What do you think? We want to know your thoughts about this. Please Email to:

GA Bathrooms.jpeg
BLD Studio.png
Large Square Advert.jpg
Silver and Rose Opticians square.jpg
square with Hot Tub.jpg
Square Advert 1.jpg
Square Advert.jpg
Silver and Rose ....png
square with Hot Tub.jpg
BLD Studio.png
Large Square Advert.jpg

Submit Your News to Formby Bubble

Contact us with your Community News, Business or Sports News. 

Phone our Newsdesk on: 01704 86 30 30 






Please submit your news story to, the biggest news outlet for Formby with over 40,000 individual hits on our website every month and over 500,000 page views!

  • Instagram
  • Facebook App Icon
  • Twitter App Icon
Featured Stories
Banner with Hot Tub.jpg
bottom of page