THE future of a football club which caters for 150 children is in jeopardy after it was kicked off its home ground following a planning row.

Heddon Juniors FC have been told by Heddon-on-the-Wall Parish Council that they can no longer use the facilities at Selman Park beyond this month after a disagreement over plans to expand the club.

Since forming in 2017, Heddon Juniors have grown to a membership of 150 boys and girls, from reception to year 8, and have recently submitted a planning application to transform an adjacent farm into football pitches to cater for the growing demand.

However, the parish council, which owns the current pitches at Selman Park, has informed the club they can no longer play there after the lease agreement runs out on July 31 as the proposed plans to expand the amount of teams exceeded the original agreement with the football club to provide facilities for local people only.

Football club chairman Liam Duffy said the decision to prevent the footballers using Selman Park would deny young people the opportunity to be active on a regular basis. He said: “We started with just 12 players in 2017, but now have 18 teams consisting of 150 children, which shows the need to expand. Putting 150 children out of sport, in this day and age when there seems to be growing anti-social behaviour and obesity in young people, just baffles me.

“If we can’t use Selman Park, we are going to have to find temporary facilities at a great expense to the club and parents, and hope we are successful with the application to move back to Heddon.”

Hexham’s MP Guy Opperman has thrown his weight behind the footballers. He said: “I fully support Heddon Juniors FC and I would strongly urge Heddon-on-the-Wall Parish Council to think again and change their decision.”

In a statement on its website, the parish council said it objected to the expansion on the grounds of extra traffic on a single-track lane and the impact on neighbouring properties.

Additionally, there were fears children from outside would be using the facilities, depriving local people from playing football.

The statement read: “Unfortunately, but well done to Heddon Juniors, the rate of expansion and the addition of even further teams mean these plans would now see the facility mainly used by a third party organisation most of the week, with the knock-on effect of local children and residents not being able to use the facility.”