A RAFT of new homes in an East Lancashire village should result in play area improvements for local youngsters.

When borough councillors in Ribble Valley gave permission for 30 new houses on land off Whalley Road, Hurst Green, there was a catch.

The developers were told that when the fifth property was sold at the site it would trigger a £25,000 payout to make improvements to the village green area.

Parish councillors for Aighton, Bailey and Chaigley have been carefully considering how to spend the windfall over the past few months.

Nicola Hopkins, the borough's economic development director has told Ribble Valley Council's planning committee in a report: "It is understood that intended communal area for this investment was the Bayley Field, which includes the playground and the bowling club, and which is owned by the parish council.

"The parish council has explored several options including a gym-trail around the Bayley Field and a multi-use games area (MUGA).

"The parish decided against a fitness trail, and the MUGA would be too costly.

"The majority of parish councillors favoured extending or improving the playground, with a climbing frame for older children and new equipment for the younger children, as currently it is only mainly the swings and the slide that are used extensively.

"Extensions to the playground proved not to be possible and the parish council has considered options for improving the existing space."

Parish councillors have obtained several quotes for the work and their preferred option is through a company called Kompan.

Borough councillors will be asked on Thursday to formally release the £25,000 for the project, which will include two towers, a bridge and slide, a small slide and replacing a plastic trail and children's area.