A PROJECT to create an athletics track at Accrington Moorhead High School will continue despite the withdrawal of £24,000 earmarked for the scheme.
Hyndburn Council had pledged the money from its 2003-04 capital programme but the money has now been transferred to fund an athletics track at Wilson's Playing Fields, Clayton-le-Moors due to a lack of progress at Moorhead.
The controversial sch-eme to provide the track, six all-weather areas and changing rooms at Moor-head was launched in March 2000, sparking anger among nearby residents.
They said the development would result in a loss of property values, an increase in traffic, excessive noise late into the evening, a loss of light and visual intrusion.
Protesters sent thousands of letters of objection to the council, claiming that the scheme was simply too big for the Moorhead site.
Little progress has been made with the development over the past three years as the school struggles to find financial backing for the project which is expected to cost in the region of £2m.
At a meeting of Hyndburn Council's Cabinet on 16 July councillors voted to withdraw financial support from the development, stating no firm progress had been made.
But headteacher, Andrew Bateman, said the withdrawal of council cash would not prevent the scheme from going ahead.
He added: "The project at Moorhead will cost over £1m and we are still pursuing investment at the moment.
"The Cabinet has decided to invest in the short-term but the transferral of the money won't stop us from pursuing the development. The sports development project is a major investment.
"Obviously we are reviewing what we are doing all the time but we are still actively pursuing sports development at the site to link in with the sports hall. Things have to move on and the council has made a decision to invest in the Wilson field instead."
Chairman of the Moorhead Residents' Association, Keith Pilkington, led the campaign to stop the development going ahead. He said he believes the scheme is now "dead in the water".
He added: "We are pleased that the council has given this money to the project at Wilson's playing fields which is a much better location. I do not think the development at Moorhead will happen now."