Football club resi plans submitted

MAZE Planning Solutions has submitted an outline planning application for 50 houses on the former Rossendale United FC ground at Dark Lane, Newchurch, on behalf of the owner, Rossendale United Holdings.

The application follows public consultation undertaken in the spring and proposes housing alongside a commitment to provide a financial injection to sport and recreation facilities serving the local community in Newchurch.

Rossendale United FC ceased to be an active football club at the end of the 2009/10 football season when it was expelled from the Vodkat League because funds were not available to cover the costs of a playing campaign. Significant debts had built up and there was no way of balancing the books.

In January this year the club's redundant Dark Lane ground in the Newchurch area of Rossendale was subjected to an arson attack that destroyed the main stand, drawing attention to the need to identify a long term use for the site.

Andrew Watt, director of MAZE Planning Solutions in Bury, said: "We are pleased to have now moved on to the formal planning application process. It brings the prospect of sorting out the mess that now exists at Dark Lane nearer to a conclusion.

"The need to improve the supply of housing development opportunities in Rossendale Borough is self-evident. The land at Dark Lane is well suited to help the council achieve that objective. It sits in the midst of established housing and residential use is the only realistic alternative for it.

"We will work through the application process carefully with the officers at Rossendale over the coming weeks and are hopeful of securing their support and a planning permission early in the New Year."

The club has been marketed for sale as a going concern since November 2009 by agents Nolan Redshaw. There have been no genuine offers.

The project team includes Fuzed Architecture & Design.

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Rossendale Football on Dark Lane has been an eyesore since I moved here in 2013. The buildings are used by the children who climb on the roof and then throw stones, they also start fires. We have no privacy when the children are on the roof. It is inevitable that there will be an accident soon if nothing is done about it. The
site needs to be demolished and everything removed.

By Eccleston