<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

Great Eccleston could double in size over the next 15 years

PUBLISHED: 00:00 09 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:36 09 February 2018

Great Eccleston

Great Eccleston

Archant

Plans for around 600 new houses to be built in pretty Wyre village

The Square, Great Eccleston The Square, Great Eccleston

It’s a village that has been described as ‘charming’, ‘idyllic’ and ‘a real slice of old world England’. And that was just by us. Other observers have been just as complimentary about Great Eccleston, a rural village in the Wyre countryside that has remained largely unchanged for centuries.

If long dead ancestors of some of the village’s longest standing families were to return, they would no doubt give the present day inhabitants a nasty shock, but they’d also be able to find their way around quite comfortably.

But it’s the spectre of a huge new housing development that’s causing some people nightmares at the moment.

The village currently has in the region of 700 homes for a population of about 1700 people, but there are plans for around 600 new houses to be built in the next 15 years – many of them larger than much of the current stock – which could potentially double the population.

Wednesday Market Wednesday Market

The village isn’t the only one to be facing such a transformation; we have reported previously on the protests against new developments a few miles away in Wrea Green and many more are taking shape – or are in the pipeline – around Lancashire.

The first tranche of 90 new two, three, four and five bedroom homes is now being built on Copp Lane in Great Eccleston, with a public inquiry due to make a decision on 93 more as we went to print. Wyre Borough Council’s local plan includes provision for 400 more to be built by 2032.

Parish Council chair David Astall said: ‘As a Parish Council, we’re not against housing – we realise it has to happen – but we are very concerned about the impact of this housing on the village.

‘The village has built up over hundreds of years and now we’re going to get 300-400 more people in a few months on the edge of the village.

Great Eccleston Great Eccleston

‘These new houses are not for people from the village, they are for people who want to move to the village and who can afford it. And they are likely to be people who will commute to jobs elsewhere and not spend time or money in the village.

‘These new people will put an extra strain on the resources; the health centre is too small already and now it will have all these extra people to cater for. We will need a new school, a new health centre and there will be issues with infrastructure too.’

Originally from Oldham, David is an incomer himself, having moved to the village from Essex to take a teaching job at Baines School in Poulton.

‘I can see why people would want to move here – I did it myself, after all – but we would like people to contribute to the village. We don’t want 180 new houses stuck on the edge of the village and all those people not to be a part of the village which has always prided itself on being a friendly community.

‘This place has so much history that needs preserving. It’s a village that has not changed in some ways, but it has in others. It’s a friendly place and it still has a thriving village community, with the cricket club, the bowling club, the pubs, the Village Centre – it’s very vibrant.’

At the heart of much that happens in Great Eccleston is the Village Centre, a converted bank where community group meetings are held, as well regular sessions of yoga, pilates and bingo.

The Centre is managed by parish council clerk Hugh Glover who would like the expanding village to have a bigger and better facility in the future.

‘Facilities are under strain at the moment and will come under even further strain as the new houses are built,’ he said. ‘The lease will expire in 2020 and I don’t know what we will do then but my view is that as the village gets bigger it needs more facilities, such as a multi-purpose village hall.

‘What I would love would be a purpose-built village hall with some sort of café facility, a main room and smaller rooms people could hire for meetings.’

All you need is love

The contrast could hardly have been greater for Methodist Church minister David Walsh who moved to Great Eccleston from Toxteth, close to Liverpool city centre. ‘We were in a multi-ethnic area that was quite run down, so Great Eccleston is very different but we love the area and we have been welcomed so warmly.’

David, who is originally from Wigan, moved to Great Eccleston with his wife Carol and brother Gordon and is keen to build on the church’s tradition of community activity.

‘Our church owns 53 acres of land and we want to use it to help people,’ he said. ‘We can’t help the whole world so we’re going to start with people from the immediate area. We want to open a respite centre for people being cared for, or for the carers, and to do our bit to show there is some hope.

‘I call it the Love Project and I want to get it started as soon as possible, hopefully by March. Life is short and I think you just have to get cracking with things.’

Success in any language

Rebecca Fuce can clearly recall the moment she made the decision to leave her job and follow her dream. It was when she had a pencil thrown at her head.

The Durham University languages graduate had returned to the North West after spells living Paris, Berlin and Oxfordshire where she took a PGCE teaching course and was given her first jobs in schools.

‘My dream had always been to run a language school and one day, after I’d moved back north and was working in a local school, I’d had a pretty tough lesson. I’d been sworn at and had a pencil thrown at my head and I thought I would just go for it.

‘People had told me that I’d regret it if I didn’t follow my dream and I opened last June, but I was still working in the school until July. The response has been incredible. I’m working seven days a week, often until 10pm but I’m really enjoying it.’

The 28-year-old is due to marry her partner Rob in September and the couple are planning to honeymoon in Canada where she’ll be able to use her French language skills.

She now runs the runs the Fylde Foreign Language Centre at the Great Eccleston Village Centre where she teaches French, German, Italian and Spanish as well as some Greek as she learns the language herself. Classes contain people of all ages, her register currently includes a three-year-old and a 77-year-old.

‘There is a real range of people,’ she said. ‘Some are businesspeople who want to be able to talk to contacts overseas, others are schoolchildren who want extra lessons, and there are people with homes abroad who want to be able to talk to their neighbours. And people come from all over the Fylde coast and beyond.

‘I want to make language learning fun and to take the fear out of it. I don’t agree that you’re either good at languages or you’re not, I think that with a little belief anyone can learn languages. We have a nice community feel among he students and we hold events – we’ll be having a French cheese and wine evening in February.’

More from Out & About

Yesterday, 09:41

Rebekka O’Grady and photographer John Cocks meet some of the new independent businesses calling Southport home

Read more
Southport
Monday, February 12, 2018

How many of these local landmarks can you recognise?

Read more
Quiz Spring
Friday, February 9, 2018

Plans for around 600 new houses to be built in pretty Wyre village

Read more
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

John Lenehan toasts the re-opening of a Lancashire engineering landmark and notes an invention to revive any walker.

Read more
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Kirkby Lonsdale sits on the spot where Lancashire, Yorkshire and Westmorland meet, making it a great base to explore the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. All these walks start of within a ten mile radius of Kirkby Lonsdale, making them a perfect day trip for anyone staying close to the historic market town.

Read more
Kirkby Lonsdale
Monday, February 5, 2018

From businesses selling banjoes to bridalwear from a former New York costume designer, Colne is a town for all seasons. Mairead Mahon reports.

Read more
Colne
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Lake District walks dominate the top ten of Britain’s 100 list.

Read more
Lake District Lake District Walks
Friday, January 26, 2018

Barrow was built on hard graft but there’s plenty of beauty to be found as well, as Mike Glover reports

PHOTOGRAPHY BY SANDY KITCHING

Read more
Thursday, January 25, 2018

Despite its bad reputation, the cuckoo has been a great and clever survivor in the wild. However, numbers have dipped since the 1970s. The Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Alan Wright investigates this iconic spring bird.

Read more
Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Many of us are frustrated by our inability to swim well. Sarah Hill did something about it and now helps others. She spoke to Roger Borrell.

Read more
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Celebrate the historic waterways of Lancashire with one of these canalside walks that allow you to enjoy the countryside and witness echoes the the county’s industrial past.

Read more
Canals
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Their football clubs both wear navy blue and white strips, but how well can you identify landmarks in Bolton and Preston?

Read more
Preston Bolton Quiz
Friday, January 12, 2018

Spring is not too far off and that’s the time when the birds start getting noisier in our woodlands. The Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Alan Wright investigates a couple of the stars of the Dawn Chorus.

Read more
Spring
Wednesday, January 10, 2018

John Lenehan selects a relatively gentle walk to blow away the post-Christmas cobwebs

Read more
Ribble Valley Walks
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter


Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Lancashire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search