BARNSLEY Council has debunked rumours that it is ignoring a covenant covering the Rockingham Sports Ground after residents believed plans were going against the agreement.

An agreement was made with the Fitzwilliam Trust Corporation - which is the holder of the covenant on this site - in October last year that the land, where the sports facility is currently situated, could be purchased.

As part of the Hoyland West masterplan, the Rockingham Sports Ground is to be relocated to Parkside - something that has caused much controversy among local residents.

Mark Goodison, 30, is the founder of the group ‘Save Hoyland’ - a band of residents against what they say is the destruction of the town - on Facebook.

He feels the situation is ‘scandalous’ and posted the pictures of the covenant to his group.

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He told the Chronicle: “I feel like this is happening all across the borough, the council’s destroying all of our green spaces but then we’re supposed to be getting people more active.

“My petition is doing great as it’s got more than 3,000 signatures and the Facebook group has more than 1,000 likes and has really taken off - it shows how much people are against this development.”

However, the council said that ‘most importantly’ the Fitzwilliam Trust Corporation has already agreed to the proposal.

A spokesperson for Barnsley Council said: “Although the use of the Rockingham Sports Ground is currently restricted to leisure and recreational use, it does not mean this can’t be widened or removed by the party in charge of the covenant in this case, the Fitzwilliam Trust Corporation.

“Most importantly, as the holders of the covenant, they were included in the discussions and agreed to the proposal.

“The plan is to begin works at the sports ground site towards the end of April so that the remainder of the site can continue to be available for leisure and recreational use.

“This part of the site will remain under the restriction, for now, until relocation to the Parkside site is complete.

“It is important to note that the council has been working with the Fitzwilliam Trust Corporation, the developer, and the Forge Community Partnership throughout.

“Long-term, this will provide a much-improved facility and a better recreational offer for the community.”