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Green light for new artificial pitch at Farsley Celtic

Council planners have approved Farsley Celtic’s proposals to install a ‘world-class’ artificial pitch to replace the existing sub-standard grass playing surface.

The club says the proposals feature the latest in synthetic turf technology, with the highest specification shock pad and drainage facility underneath. The pitch will have a FIFA 2* grading and feature bio-degradable cork infill as opposed to the usual rubber crumb found on other artificial pitches.

It’s hoped the installation of a new pitch will allow the club’s deaf, women’s and numerous youth teams to use the facilities all year round and cement the club’s position as a sports hub at the heart of the community. Farsley Celtic currently runs more than 40 teams for a wide range of age groups.

A design and access statement submitted to the council by the club stated: “Unfortunately many of the facilities at the club are dated and becoming obsolete. 

“The most important asset at any club is its pitch. The one at Farsley is over 40 years old and is now becoming a major liability, threatening the club’s existence. The substructure is beginning to collapse due to its age and the amount of use it has had. It no longer meets the stringent National League specifications, and has been labelled as dangerous.”

The council has imposed a £20,000 contribution from the club to fund traffic regulation orders to address any future traffic and parking issues in the area.

A council planning officer’s report approving the plans concluded: “The proposal will present economic and social benefits for the club and wider community through extended use opportunities. It will generate income flows for the club and promote health and well-being opportunities through the provision of outdoor sport.

“Whilst there would be some impacts on bio-diversity, those would … be moderate and are given less weight than the social and economic pillars of sustainable development. The use of cork removes environmental concerns that rubber cork present through the release of micro-plastics and highway implication through the proposed intensification of use can be adequate controlled through a management plan as set out within the above report.

“Whilst the intensification could provide longer periods of noise and disturbance whilst the pitch is in use, this could in theory already occur on the grassed surface and from use of the club house and hospitality services the club operates.”

Council planning officers approved the proposals subject to 11 planning conditions, including a community use scheme being submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority, after consultation with Sport England. The scheme should include details of pricing policy, hours of use, access by non-members, management responsibilities and include a mechanism for review. 

It’s yet to be officially confirmed when the pitch will be installed, but bosses have already scheduled all the club’s pre-season friendlies away from The Citadel to allow work to be carried out.

They have also asked for permission to play the first few games of their National League North campaign away from home to allow time for potential installation. The season starts on Saturday, 10 August.

The plans – and documents – connected to the pitch can be read in full here.

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