COUNCILLORS have moved to reassure residents following outcry over plans for a new sports complex on playing fields.

The One In a Million Free School, based at Cliffe Terrace, Bradford, has lodged an application with Bradford Council to build a new changing pavilion, a 3G all-weather football pitch and cricket pitch, as well as new street lighting, car parking, drainage works, plus a new boundary fence and gates, at the King George V playing fields on Canal Road.

The playing fields are owned by Bradford Council and scores of comments have been left in objection.

Among concerns were fears that football teams which currently use the fields would no longer be able to do so.

But councillors Alex Ross-Shaw, Vanda Greenwood and Susan Hinchcliffe (Lab, Windhill and Wrose) have said in a statement: “We are aware that officers from our Parks and Landscapes department had not engaged in any formal consultation in the community before submitting the application and they have apologised for this. “When we found out we immediately asked them to hold a meeting with representations from the local football clubs who currently use the existing playing pitches on the site and that meeting took place this week.

“Officers have also accepted our request to hold a drop-in session in Bolton Woods so residents can come and find out more about the proposals and ask any questions they may have about the scheme.”

The statement added: “The new Bolton Woods masterplan has always identified a need for improved facilities in the area, and to that end a 3G pitch and new facilities such as changing rooms and flood lights were proposed and consulted on in principle when the original masterplan was developed.

“It has always been the intention that local groups would be guaranteed access to the facilities at the same rates they currently pay to access the playing pitches.

“This will be written into the agreement with One In A Million, who will run the site with a management committee that will include representatives of local football clubs.

“We have been assured that the facilities will include new, modern changing rooms with toilets, a kitchen facility and classrooms.

“The floodlights will be modern with efficient, focused lights to ensure it doesn’t cause glare to neighbouring properties.

“A groundskeeper will maintain the site and provide access for groups who have booked.”

The councillors said they have also discussed improving the condition of Gaisby Stray with officers, in order to make the space more accessible for informal recreation use.

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: "We have agreed to hold a drop-in session to explain the proposals to residents.

“We can assure residents that all representations will be seriously considered and taken in to account before any decisions are made. Residents have until April 10 to make comments on the planning application.”