Plans for a new artificial hockey pitch at a village school have stalled after councillors voted to defer their decision on the scheme.
Broughton Business and Enterprise College had applied for the new pitch, with a perimeter fence and floodlights, but fears were raised over a potential conflict with the Guild Wheel, and the future of an ancient oak tree.
The school now faces losing funding towards the £500,000 facility, as planning committee members agreed to put off the decision until September for “questions to be answered”.
Headteacher Chris Morris told this week’s meeting the pitch would be used by children at the school, as well as clubs including Springfields.
He said: “Our vision has always been to provide a sporting facility for the benefit of our 900 children and for the benefit of the local community and across the city of Preston.”
But residents addressed the meeting, raising concerns of air quality and the impact on a 350-year-old oak tree nearby, and calling for the pitch to be re-sited. Worries were also raised about an increased use of a narrow access lane from Sandygate Lane, which objectors feared would “raise the chances of a serious collision” as the site formed part of the Guild Wheel.
Coun Neil Cartwright, addressing the meeting, said: “I would hope, ideally, this is refused to allow for a rethink, or deferred to allow for some talk between the residents and the school. For hockey and the school it’s brilliant, but for the residents it’s not.”
Coun Stuart Greenhalgh said: “I think there have been so many questions raised that can’t be answered now – the conflict with the Guild Wheel, the management, the tree – I propose we defer this for the questions to be answered.”