PLANS for a new sports hub have taken a step forward after recommendations were approved.

But Councillor Andrew Carter (Con, Calverley and Farsley) made scathing comments of Bradford Council in outlining his support for the Woodhall Lane Sports Ground.

The playing fields, between Calverley and Pudsey, have proved a point of contention for Bradford and neighbouring Leeds City Council.

The site was originally owned by the University of Bradford, but was bought by Leeds City Council in January 2018.

The adjacent playing fields, off Sunnybank Lane, are still owned by Bradford Council and were the subject of a Community Asset Transfer to semi-professional football club Albion Sports earlier this year.

Cllr Carter urged the need for “effective consultation” in regard to Woodhall Lane becoming a sports hub, after design progression of the project was authorised by the Council’s Executive Board.

And he criticised Bradford Council’s handling of the Sunnybank Lane site in his statement.

He said: “Recently, they proceeded without any consultation with the ward members, to look at turning a currently publicly accessible set of pitches into what would’ve been a private club, including bar facilities, fencing round the pitch to a degree that would allow operation in certain parts of the Football League.

“Local residents were naturally up in arms, as were the three ward members.

“That, to some degree, has been stopped in its tracks, thank goodness - it’s all greenbelt.

“But it could have soured the atmosphere in terms of what we’re proposing to provide, which is totally different – a community asset, access to local clubs and far from licensed premises, a coffee shop and children’s play facilities, of which there are none in the area.”

A detailed plan for the Woodhall Lane sports hub is expected to be submitted in October, now the proposal has reached the next stage.

Under the proposals, the development of the site would also include crowd facilities and three pitches – one super-size, one full-size 3G artificial grass pitch, one full-size Sport England compliant natural grass pitch, changing rooms with fully-accessible Changing Places facilities and a 200-space car park.

A Bradford Council spokesperson said in response to Cllr Carter’s comments: “We have consulted widely around the future of Sunnybank Lane playing field and taken on board the views of local people around the issues they have raised.

“The land is owned by Bradford Council and by offering a short-term lease to Albion Sports club we believe we are offering the best value solution to manage the football pitches on the site. Under the terms of the proposed lease, the grounds have to remain open for public access.

“Bradford Council continues to work with Leeds Council in this area to ensure the facilities and surrounding land continues to be accessible to the whole community.”

The site has already received approval under the Parklife scheme, which means it could benefit from funding of up to 60 per cent (subject to negotiations) from the Football Foundation charity.

All three Calverley and Farsley ward councillors have already expressed their support for the hub.