PROPOSALS to turn a popular dog walking patch of grassland in Feniscowles into a football pitch for young players are set to spark a row today.

Councillors have been recommended to give the scheme the green light despite objections from neighbours.

Officials have said the use of the meadow at the War Memorial Recreation Site, in Livesey Branch Road, should be subject to strict conditions and banned in the summer.

The trustees of the recreation site plan to attend the meeting of Blackburn with Darwen planning committee on Thursday to ask its member to approve the use of the new pitch during the summer months.

Officials recommend that only players between six and 16 should use the pitch for football on set hours at weekends between September and April.

Their concern follows fears from nearby residents that their homes would be overlooked and footballs kicked into their gardens.

The report to the committee, chaired by Labour’s Dave Smith, said the proposed restrictions make it ‘unlikely that this situation will occur on a regular basis’.

The trustees had asked for use at weekends and three evenings a week in the summer.

The proposed development, in the south-eastern corner of the site, would take the number of football pitches at the site to four and involve chopping down a tree.

The recreation site already has a cricket pitch, bowling green and three tennis courts.

It has been the home of junior football teams since the 1950s, with Feniscowles and Pleasington Junior Football Club , known as ‘Fenny Reccers’ taking control in 2006.

The club’s chairman Michael Caton said: “We hope to get three minutes at the meeting to persuade councillors to ease the proposed restrictions.

“We really need the pitch on summer evenings to get children active and fit when the cricket pitch is in use.

“We will make sure there is no nuisance to neighbours”

Livesey with Pleasington councillor Derek Hardman, who sits on the committee, said: “This is a difficult one. The residents are very concerned about disturbance.

“The club want longer hours. Planning officials have put forward a compromise and we will find out on Thursday if that satisfies everyone.”