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Plans by Hugh McAuley for a new Lidl Food Store in Formby and an impressive Sports Zone

A planning application has been submitted to Sefton Council for a new ‘Sports Zone’ in Formby. This will become part of the ten-acre development site which will become the new home of Formby FC, with boys and girls teams starting from under 5’s to adult football.

The development which will include a community hub, match and training pitches, indoor 5-a-side pitches, indoor hard pitch for netball and basketball, rooms for dance, classrooms, physio and much more.

The land that is south of Altcar Road in Formby and owned by Hugh McAuley, an English former professional footballer,

will also include a new Lidl store. Hugh McAuley said: “I am really Privileged to be partnering with Stellar Asset Management on our development of a ‘Sports Zone’ in Formby, Merseyside.”

“The Pre-Application for Phase 1 was submitted to Sefton Council's planning department on Monday 22nd February 2021.”

“We are excited to hear feedback on plans that will offer so many benefits to the local community. Hopefully Sefton Council will pass the plans for which the Sports zone will be paid for by a new Lidl Food Store, a Special Needs School and a new 80 bed care home.”

“A new access road off the Formby bypass will also be created, which will improve transport links in the surrounding area. We welcome any feedback.”

The land that is south of Altcar Road in Formby, (back of Tesco and the Tip), owned by Hugh McAuley, was previously hoped to be turned into a spectacular £5m sports facility for Formby, was knocked out of the Local Plan by the Inspector.

The sports facility is there solely for the benefit of the community so it was very sad that this happened. There were over 1,200 residents who wrote in to Sefton Council, in favour of the plan. The land was the ONLY site to be left out of Sefton Council’s Local Plan at the hearing in March 2015, but, two weeks later, the good news emerged that the planning Inspectorate decided to reconsider the proposal. It is that proposal that was then removed from the Plan altogether!

It was well known that Hugh McAuley, who was working with St Modwen at the time, had been looking to develop this site, with the primary focus being to build a 5 million pound sports facility on the old site of Formby FC. Hugh Mr McAuley is the owner of Formby Sports Academy which at the moment runs a football facility from the land and which has four 3G astroturf pitches, plus the old Formby FC pitch is used to host games for numerous teams, including Frank Rourke’s Formby Junior Sports Club. Up until recently Hugh McAuley had solely funded this venture, however, to move the sports facility up to the next level in terms of quality and range of facilities he took the decision to team up with one the UK’s leading developers, St. Modwen PLC.

Hugh McAuley purchased the site back in 2010 and has since worked hard to push the site forward in the hope its full and obvious potential could be unlocked. Back in 2010 Formby’s local football team, ‘The Squirrels,’ played at the Altcar Road site. However, in 2013 the pitches failed the ground grading and Formby FC were disappointedly forced to up sticks and move to Burscough. Since then the club has ceased to exist. This is another driver behind Hugh McAuley’s attempts to develop the sports scheme as it provides the potential to bring the ‘Squirrels’ back to their historic and rightful home!

Lets hope that Hugh manages to succeed with this venture and hopefully with so many members of the public behind him, this time, Sefton Council will see sense and put it through. We would love to know your thoughts on this.

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