Contentious plans for a £2m sports complex on playing fields are set to get the go ahead.
Accrington Stanley Community Trust’s application to transform Higham’s Playing Fields into a state-of-the-art sports facility have been recommended for approval - subject to conditions - by council planners.
If successful, the application would see a new pavilion, complete with offices, a gym and classrooms, as well as a 3G football pitch.
However, campaigners say they have not yet given up hope that it may still be turned down.
In application documents, the planning officer said: “The proposed development will enhance the playing pitches and facilities at the site and the number of people using these facilities will increase.
“The need to improve the quality of health of the residents of Hyndburn is recognised as a strategic objective by the Core Strategy and developments of this type will play an important role in helping to achieve this.”
According to the planning report, the scheme received 97 letters of support during a public consultation as well as 71 objections.
Jackie Rawstron, secretary of the Save Higham’s Playing Fields campaign, feels that more consideration needs to be taken over the current proposals.
She said: “We are not against the investment, it is much needed in a deprived area like Accrington.
“But there are a number of conditions that the planning officer has put on the scheme, which should indicate to the planning committee the need to consider the matter more thoroughly.
“We hope that at the next committee meeting they will either turn the plans down or at least consider the conditions and have further representations from the Fields in Trust.”
Protesters demonstrated outside Accrington Town Hall in September this year, rallying against the scheme ahead of a full council meeting.
At that meeting, Coun Malcolm Pritchard presented a petition to ‘Save Higham’s Playing Fields from redevelopment’.
The petition, which gained 1,250 signatures, was presented to the full council, however it voted to recommend its support to the council cabinet for the proposals.
The planning application has not been rubber stamped and is due to go before the next planning committee meeting on Wednesday, December 13.
The committee’s decision will be subject to the Secretary of State confirming that the proposal will not be called in for review.