A YOUTH project’s bid to test ride motorcyles in a field in rural Pendle has suffered a blow after villagers raised concerns over the plans.

Nelson-based Wheels Within Wheels, which trains youngsters in all things cycle-related, already uses the field in Gisburn Old Road, Blacko, to test out mini-motos and quad bikes and its bosses are now seeking official authorisation to continue doing so.

However, a number of people who live near the field say it is an ‘inappropriate’ location for test riding the vehicles, which they claim make a lot of noise and pollute the country air.

Their objections are being supported by Pendle Council’s planning officers, who are recommending that councillors on the borough’s West Craven Committee reject the proposals when they meet on Tuesday.

Under the proposed scheme, Wheels Within Wheels will also use the field for minor maintenance projects such as repairing punctures.

The project will be able to use the field between 9.30am and 7.30pm seven days a week.

Stephen Barnes, of Moorcock Barn, in Gisburn Road, has written to Pendle Council.

He said: “I wish to object to the application on the grounds that the proposal will cause noise pollution and possibly contamination of the land due to oil from the motorbikes and the inappropriateness of the site and detrimental effect it will have on the countryside and wildlife.”

Mr and Mrs Dent, of Peel House Farm, said: “In principle we have no objection to the proposal of engaging young adults in worthwhile activities. However, we do not feel more suitable sites have been seriously considered, nearer the towns where these young adults live.”

Blacko Parish Council has also raised concerns over the plans.

The West Craven Committee will discuss the plans when it meets at the Rainhall Centre, at 7pm on Tuesday.