Lostock Hall football club bosses outline environmental impact of pitch extension

Bosses at a football club have moved to reassure neighbours that wildlife will be considered when developing a new pitch.

Saturday, 25th January 2020, 6:00 am
The club in Wateringpool Lane. Image courtesy of Google.

Bosses at a football club have moved to reassure neighbours that wildlife will be considered when developing a new pitch.

Lostock St Gerard’s FC was given permission last week for a new playing surface on land adjacent to their base in Wateringpool Lane, Lostock Hall, along with four-metre high retractable netting and additional car parking for up to 50 vehicles.

Club chairman Phil Tinsley hailed the news as “massive” as it will mean more capacity for junior teams and a girls team. But concerns have been raised by nearby residents, worried about the impact on wildlife.

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Elsa Bridges, who lives in Claytondale Drive opposite the field, said: “I think the new pitch is an excellent idea, but I want to see a small strip of land, three to four-metres wide, left undeveloped to help wildlife in the area.

“At the moment there’s brambles and a drainage ditch. Leaving a strip wouldn’t impact on what they want to do and wouldn’t cost a thing. I just want a dialouge, I want to do my bit to protect birds living in this area.”

Mr Tinsley said the club will leave “as much of the undergrowth as they can” around the drainage ditch, and is willing to talk to Mrs Bridges about the environment.

He added: “We’ll be keeping a woodland on the site, keeping the drainage ditch uncovered and planting lots of trees. There’s so many houses being built around here, we have to keep something green.”

The land in question is part of the borough council’s Central Park area designated for recreation and leisure use.

Councillor Bill Evans said wildlife and the environment is considered thoroughly in any planning application. He said that in considerations for the site, ecological issues were deemed “unlikely” because surveys previously carried out by Lostock Hall Gas Works showed no evidence of any great crested newts and no potential bat roosting habitat.