CONTROVERSIAL plans to relocate a sports facility in Hoyland Common are set to be rubber-stamped by Barnsley Council at a meeting next week.

Despite local campaigns to save it, Hoyland’s Rockingham Sports Ground is set to move to Parkside as part of Barnsley Council’s Hoyland West masterplan.

Cash totalling more than £2m will fund the construction of a new pavilion, at Parkside, and artificial grass pitch with floodlights in compensation for loss of facilities at the Rockingham ground caused by nearby business developments.

Reported plans had broken cover last year for Barnsley Women’s FC to take over the new ground as their home, but the aim is for the site to be used by the community.

However, permission is now being sought to erect the new unit at Parkside.

A report, which will be discusses by councillors next week, states: “The proposal is to complete the redevelopment of a previously underused informal recreation ground with an all-weather football pitch which can be used for adult, youth and junior games.

“The community building, football pitch and archery range (already constructed) are required to replace those being lost at Rockingham Sports facility nearby due to the building of a link road.

“Funding has been secured though both the cabinet and is being sought from the Football Foundation for the scheme, and the application will ensure that sporting activities in the locality will be safeguarded and enhanced, thereby promoting the existing sporting and cultural offer and health benefits for local residents and the wider Barnsley communities.

In Text Promo Image

“Whilst there will be some impacts on residents adjoining the site, it is considered that these can be adequately mitigated and managed through planning conditions where appropriate.”

If the plans are approved, a reception area and cafe space, changing rooms, studio spaces and two large activity spaces will be created in the area.

A total of 64 car parking spaces will also be created at the site.

A total of seven objections have been lodged with the council though the plans are still earmarked for approval.

These objections included a loss of open space, lack of highway safety and inappropriate development but the council say that these issues are outweighed by the benefits the development will bring.

“The consultation has highlighted definite feelings of support and a sense of need for the Parkside Community and Sports Centre,” the report said.

“It has sparked a renewed interest amongst the local community and a desire to refine the centres provision and use.

“There is perhaps an opportunity to re-visit the centres provision once built and develop new community lead activities with a more community embrace.

“Giving the centre organic life that could evolve and give service to its community in a time when community services are shrinking.

“Above all the consultation has shown that given the support the centre could provide facilities and opportunities for the local community long into the future.”

Coun David White, who represents the Rockingham ward, told the Chronicle: “One would think that the residents of Hoyland would now be used to the decimation of our green spaces.

“Yet more is set to be taken away.

“As usual it’s very difficult to obtain clear and accurate information from planning.

“When I was first elected I made a point of getting to know senior officers in planning.

“Lovely, helpful guys but many have left the council this year after years of service.

“So the plans will be passed - regardless of the significant number of objections, and we will yet again be told what’s good for us, as they know best.”