“Football’s coming home” for the “biggest junior club” in the Wakefield district.
Ossett Town JFC, home to 35 underage sides and two women’s teams, has been given permission to relay its existing football pitches and revamp its changing rooms and social suite.
The move will provide a significant upgrade in facilities for the 400 children who attend the club, based on Spring Mill Lane Playing Fields, off Wakefield Road.
Speaking at Wakefield Council’s planning committee, Ossett Town Juniors representative Dean Wells said: “The pitches at Spring Mill have been the club’s home for more than a decade.
“These pitches were laid out in the 1980s and have been maintained and used ever since. Over the years, playing surfaces have settled and the original drainage has ceased to function.
“The pitch improvements and pavilion refurb will allow the biggest junior club in the district to continue to provide for local youngsters in a safe and welcoming environment.”
A 68 space car park will also be built to accommodate players and their parents.
But the plans were objected to by a neighbouring nursery manager, who said she was “increasingly concerned” about a rise in traffic and further damage to Spring Mill Lane.
The road, which is private and outside the remit of the council, is already riddled with potholes.
Julie Cooper, from Rainbow Childcare said: “Some of the potholes are 10cm deep which would create some damage to vehicles and be a danger to pedestrians.
“Wakefield Road is extremely busy. When I leave at 6pm, at times I’ve been waiting 10 to 15 minutes just to get out. It’s especially bad if you’re turning right.”
Ossett Town Juniors have promised to contribute towards improving the road as part of the planning application.
Before its approval, details of the plans prompted one enthusiastic Tory councillor to repeat the famous line chanted by English football fans for most of the summer.
Coun Samantha Harvey said: “This is the true example of “football’s coming home”. I think we should support the expansion of the club.
Adding that she thought the club was small enough to not have a negative impact on the surrounding area, she said: “I don’t think it’s Manchester United we’re talking about here.”