PROPOSALS to move a village football club from its current base to a township park to make way for a giant water pipeline project have angered residents and Labour politicians.

The £1billion project to upgrade the 70-year-old Haweswater Aqueduct which supplies water from the Lake District to Lancashire and Greater Manchester involves major work on land off Bolton Avenue, Huncoat.

This means the village club will have to move for at least seven years.

North-West water supplier United Utilities and Hyndburn Council currently plan to move Huncoat United to two newly-created pitches at Great Harwood's Memorial Playing Fields.

This will require major works at the park and the felling of trees.

Great Harwood Labour councillor Scott Brerton said “We recognise the need for Huncoat Utd to move from their current facilities but moving them to Great Harwood is simply the wrong decision.

"We’ve been in dialogue with the football club and they agree it is the worst of all possible options.

"Getting 300 plus children from Huncoat to Great Harwood to play and train, week in, week out will put the club at risk.

"Not all parents drive, there is no direct bus route, and the traffic through Clayton is some of the busiest in the borough.

“The people of Great Harwood are up in arms about the major changes proposed to the playing fields.

"United Utilities and Hyndburn Borough Council seem to be rushing through this project without public consultation.

"It will involve major changes to the playing fields, the cutting down of trees and many residents remember the flooding issues that occurred the last time works were carried out there.

"Myself and my fellow Labour Great Harwood councillors are asking that the council and United Utilities urgently reconsider their decision and look for pitches nearer Huncoat that will both protect the football club’s future and preserve Great Harwood’s beautiful Memorial Playing Fields.”

Graham Jones, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Hyndburn said: “It makes no sense to move Huncoat United to Great Harwood particularly after the Clayton Triangle housing plans."

A United Utilities spokesman said: “Our proposed working area for the Haweswater Aqueduct Resilience Programme at Bolton Avenue, Huncoat, will impact on the use of the football pitches during the construction period.

"We are required to provide alternative facilities and are working with Hyndburn Borough Council to find a suitable location.

“We will continue to engage with the council as plans progress and remain committed to working with communities throughout this ongoing process.”

Hyndburn Council declined to comment.