Concern grows over sports facilities

Members of Sandal Community Association.
Members of Sandal Community Association.

Campaigners have vowed to continue their fight over controversial plans to build 171 new homes on the site of a sports club.

Wakefield Council’s planning committee backed a proposal to demolish the West Yorkshire Sports and Social Club to make way for the new homes on Thursday.

The application was referred to government office on behalf of the Secretary of State because the site is a council-owned sports facility.

It means the council must refer any planning application affecting playing fields to the government office, who will then decide if the application can go through.

Sandal Community Association will now consider what further action can be taken.

Committee member Roger Holmes said: “I just feel it is not a good planning decision.

“With experience in planning, I think it goes against the planning guidelines that were put forward to try and safeguard playing fields and sport facilities.

“It is extremely disappointing that the councillors have gone and approved the plans, especially when there had been so many objections.”

The application by Persimmon Homes WY and Charles Church WY includes 78 four-bedroom and 57 three-bedroom houses.

Sandal Hall Close and Helmsley Road would both be extended to improve access to the site.

The sports club, which is used by football, tennis, cricket and rugby clubs, will move from its current grounds off Sandal Hall Close, Sandal, to a new site more than a mile away, off Shay Lane, Walton.

Plans to build the new sports club were agreed back in March.

The council received 79 letters of objection and a petition signed by 12 residents against the new homes plan.

Mr Holmes said the committee was concerned about the loss of community and sports facilities in Sandal and the impact the development would have on the wider road network.

He added: “The roads will struggle to cope and potentially become more hazardous.”