NEW sports facilities at a secondary school, which would be available for community use, are likely to get the go ahead from Bradford Council next week.
Liz Storey, business manager of Immanuel College in Leeds Road, Thackley, applied for planning permission for create a new, floodlit artificial pitch, netball courts and new car parking at the school, and the decision goes before a planning meeting on Thursday.
The proposal has not been without controversy, having attracted 16 objections from people in the area but the application has still been recommended for approval.
Planning officers say it will provide a much needed sporting facility in an area of low participation in sport and exercise.
Thackley Juniors football club will be a partner in the scheme, and the application says the local community will be able to use the pitches and court for a "reasonable fee."
The proposed hours for the use of the facilities, which will be built over school playing fields, are from 8am to 10pm on weekdays and 9am to 10pm on weekends. The floodlights will be 15 metres tall and there will be an extra 36 car parking spaces built.
A planning report going to the committee says other local sports facilities are "over subscribed," adding: "The ability to access good sport facilities within the local community is vital to any sports organisation, yet many clubs struggle to find a place to play and train.
"Making these (facilities) available to sports clubs and the community can offer significant benefits to both the school and the local clubs and community."
However there were several objections to the plans, ranging from the effect on wildlife, property being de-valued, to the "unsightly visual effect" of the floodlights.
Other residents felt the facilities will lead to a rise in gangs, litter and "foul language" in the area. One claimed the proposed hours of use would allow the pitch to be used "all day, every day, 365 days a year."
There were also two letters of support, one saying these facilities were "long overdue" and another saying it will encourage people in the area to take up sports.
Responding to one objector's claim that the facilities were not needed, the planning report says: "Other provision is over subscribed, particularly on weekends, leaving little opportunity for community bookings to be made.
"The proposed improved sports facility will be available for use by local clubs in a district with higher than national average population growth, deprivation figures and low adult participation in sport. It is not agreed that the development is not needed."
The meeting of the Council's regulatory and appeals committee takes place on Thursday at Bradford City Hall from 10am.