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Feniscowles dog walking site could be turned into a football pitch
3:00pm Thursday 5th December 2013 in News
A POPULAR dog walking site in Feniscowles could be turned into a football pitch for youngsters.
Plans for the meadow at the War Memorial Recreation Site, in Livesey Branch Road, have been submitted to the council.
The proposed development, in the south-eastern corner of the site, would take the number of football pitches at the site to four.
It already has a cricket pitch, bowling green and three tennis courts.
The site 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 ground manager, Dave Withers, said the plans have been subject to several objections.
He said: “There have been quite a lot of people who don’t want it, which is obviously stopping the council from agreeing. They keep saying, ‘we need this, we need that’.”
A survey carried out in the area revealed potential habitat and foraging opportunities for roosting bats and birds, although no statutory wildlife sites were found within 1.5km of the site and ponds did not contain any wildlife.
Mr Withers said: “It isn’t dog walkers complaining because where we are going to build the pitch is not walkable.
“They were moaning about an old tree in the middle but it was rotting so the council said we could remove it. Now they are saying bats are nesting in the trees.
“There are not enough pitches and we are an expanding club. We really need that space.”
Councillor for Livesey with Pleasington, Derek Hardman said: “When it has gone to planning, they did not have all the full facts. The ecology report was not as in-depth as they wanted.
“There was only one tree on that site and they wanted a tree report, so they had to do one.
“I have not have any objections personally. The site is well used and bursting to capacity.”
The club has 16 teams, and 200 players, and has plans to increase the number of teams to 24.
The proposed pitch would be used for four to six hours a week, until around 8.30pm from April to June when the evenings are light, and on weekend mornings.
It would not be used in the winter months.
The application will be considered the Blackburn with Darwen Council.
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