Oct 8 2013 by Staff Reporter, Formby Times
Hugh McAuley launches ambitious bid to transform Formby FC’s grounds into community sports complex
THE owner of Formby FC hopes to transform the site into a world-class sports centre.
Hugh McAuley, 37, who grew up in Formby, has spent five years working on a proposal to transform the club’s grounds into a community sports centre.
Mr McAuley wants to sell part of the Green Belt site off Altcar Road to the neighbouring Tesco’s supermarket, which would allow the store to expand and take on more staff.
The money raised from the sale would then be ploughed in to the development and used to pay for a skate park, 11-a-side pitch, 11-a-side 3G pitch, a training ground,Š children’s outdoor adventure play area, campsite, creche, rugby pitch and fishing lake.
Mr McAuley has told the Times the new facilities will provide schoolchildren in the area with world-class facilities on their doorstep. The former Football League professional also pledged that the site will be free for Formby’s schools to use between 2.30pm and 4.30pmŠ in the week.
Formby FC is currently based at Burscough FC, although Mr McAuley envisages the Squirrels returning to the site in aroundŠ three years time.
He said: “As far as I am aware, this is the best proposal in the North West at the moment.
“We just hope Sefton Council approve the planning application, so this can become reality. These facilities are for Formby’s schoolchildren, and will transform the lives of hundreds of kids in the town.”
The planning proposal , points out that, although Mr McAuley’s site is Green Belt, it is not a designated nature site, unlike the Green Belt land to the north of Formby industrial estate.Š
Mr McAuley added: “We appreciate the proposal is to build on Green Belt land. But we are hoping the planners recognise that the benefits are overwhelmingŠ in this case, due to the scale of the plan. The sale of land to Tesco’s will lead to more employment in the town. And the store can increase the size of theirŠ car park, which reduces the build-up of traffic in the area. I have spent the past five years working on this proposal. It is my chance to give something back to the town I grew up in. It will also be my legacy.”