A WIGAN community will be handed a sporting facility boost as the town hall has approved plans for new football and rugby pitches.
The plot, off Vicarage Lane in Shevington, will also include allotments and a car park.
Couns Collins, Crosby and myself fully support the scheme as a sporting facility will make a huge difference to the areaCoun Damian Edwardson
Planning committee members gave the green light to the proposal this week despite concerns it is inappropriate development for greenbelt land.
Shevington Labour representative Coun Damian Edwardson said his ward colleagues are “delighted” the plans are going ahead.
He told the Observer: “Shevington FC, Shevington Sharks and the Allotments Society have been working for more than two years on this plan, with numerous consultations and funding bids. So it is great news that they can now finally start to move towards the next phase of the project.
“Couns Collins, Crosby and myself fully support the scheme as a sporting facility will make a huge difference to the area.
“The clubs already do so much in the community, working with people of all ages and encouraging them to participate in sport and other things such as education, and we are very proud to have them in our ward.”
Planning officers had recommended to the committee that approval should be granted although documents show 25 letters of objection were sent to the town hall.
They outlined that the plans were at odds with the council’s greenbelt policy, traffic and congestion would increase on Vicarage Lane and the grounds could become a hotspot for anti-social behaviour.
The scheme includes two football pitches, one rugby pitch, an allotment area and car park. The planning report states: “The scheme will make effective use of an existing field by creating appropriate outdoor sports and recreation facilities which will preserve the openness of the greenbelt.”
Adding: “The introduction of traffic calming measures address any concerns of potential conflict between vehicles and users of the public right of way which passes along Vicarage Lane.”
Coun Edwardson said: “This is a very exciting development for the entire ward of Shevington with Lower Ground and we are sure the community will once again throw their support behind it.”