News

SCRAPPED: £300k all-weather pitches scheme in Great Harwood

Council bosses are instead looking to divert the cash to a former youth centre

Enter your postcode to see news and information near you

Community updates, Crime Statistics, Local News & Events and much more...

Bank Mill House in Great Harwood.

Controversial plans to build three all-weather football pitches near to a community centre have been abandoned.

Twelve months ago Hyndburn council approved the £300,000 scheme which would have seen 3G

pitches installed behind Bank Mill House, off Church Street in Great Harwood, and run by Hyndburn Leisure Trust (HLT).

Thirty-four people submitted objection letters to the council claiming the development would lead to anti-social behaviour, increased traffic and parking problems, and cause lighting and noise nuisance.

Hyndburn council leader Miles Parkinson has confirmed that the scheme has now been scrapped.

The £300,000 has instead been earmarked for the former youth centre on nearby Lowerfold Road if Lancashire County Council (LCC) agrees to transfer the building to HLT.

Trust bosses say if the transfer is successful then it will ‘lay the foundations for an exciting sports and health club’.

Coun Parkinson said the Leisure Trust came forward with a business plan some years ago that would be an income generator.

He explained: “At first other sites were looked at [for the 3G pitches].

“It wasn’t going to be Bank Mill House, but Windsor Road.

Great Harwood Young Peoples Centre on Lowerfold Road.

“Councillors didn’t want it there because of the proximity to housing.”

He said that as time has progressed, and because of other developments from other leisure providers, there was no longer the same business case for the scheme that was there previously.

Coun Parkinson added: “The Leisure Trust have looked at the youth centre in Great Harwood to provide sports and community needs.

“They asked the council, due to the fact that the football cages weren’t going ahead, whether that money was still available but could be earmarked for the youth centre if it’s transferred from the county council.

“As leader of the council I sent a letter to that effect to the county council saying there was £300,000 available to the Leisure Trust if they decided to transfer the youth centre.”

The former youth centre, on Lowerfold Road, was one of more than 100 community facilities closed by LCC in 2016 under budget saving measures.

HLT is currently subsidised by Hyndburn council and aims to be self-sufficient by 2022.