Junior football club gets green light for new Calderdale clubhouse and pitches

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A junior football club has been granted planning permission to develop a former quarry site into a clubhouse and football pitches.

Calderdale Council officers have permitted the application submitted by treasurer Mr Andrew Ratcliffe on behalf of Shelf Juniors Football Club.

Now the site on land between Gwendon and Landmere Quarry at Halifax Road, Shelf, can house the clubhouse, a full sized pitch and four smaller pitches, subject to conditions including dealing with a mine shaft on the site.

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The south western corner of the site will house a clubhouse building, incorporating four changing rooms, an additional two changing rooms for officials – all designed to meet Football Foundation changing accommodation guidelines – and car parking for up to 45 cars.

Shelf Juniors (Blue and yellow) in actionShelf Juniors (Blue and yellow) in action
Shelf Juniors (Blue and yellow) in action

Administration and first aid rooms and a kitchen will also be incorporated into the building, which will be built out of green plastisol coated steel in order to reduce the impact of the building.

Considering the application, council planners noted this was a resubmission of an application which had been made, and approved, in 2014.

The reason why the original approval had not been implemented lay in issues relating to a stone-lined coal mine shaft linked to the site’s former uses, with proposals now in place to deal with these.

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Planners say the site was filled by owners Blackshaw Holdings and Associated Waste Management and completed in 2010 but the company do not have the records of the shaft’s treatment prior to tipping the inert waste although there is anecdotal evidence that it was capped.

Blackshaw Holdings have agreed to investigate the shaft and cap it off if the treatment prior to filling the site was not to the required standard as specified in the National Coal Board Brown Book on the Treatment of Shafts and Adits.

The football club have also been in negotiation with the relevant funding bodies for grass roots football such as Sport England and the Football Foundation, the National Lottery and Community Funding organisations – but all have requested that the site is investigated and the shaft treated before they will commit to funding.

The organisations are also aware that the site was an inert landfill site and require testing of the material to ensure that it is inert material and will not affect the future use of the site as a football pitch and clubhouse, says the officers’ report.

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Fifteen letters of support and four of objection were received over the new application, the former pointing out that the club has a history going back 25 years as a volunteer-run non-profit organisation providing football for more than 200 children and adults.

One letter of support says it plays a major part in the community by giving local youngsters something to do.

Objectors’ concerns include worried about noise, lighting, parking and privacy.

Planning officers say conditions can address these concerns and the plans can be permitted.

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