A JUNIOR football club has won a long, drawn-out battle to create a new home after councillors approved a planning application to redevelop a field.

Heddon Juniors FC, who have 114 players across 15 junior teams, submitted a planning application to change the use of a field south of Selman Park Sports Field in Heddon from farming to leisure to provide football pitches for the club.

The submission of the application caused a dispute with Heddon-on-the-Wall Parish Council, which stopped the club from using its facilities at Selman Park, including changing provisions, because it felt the plans were an overdevelopment of the site.

The application came before Castle Morpeth Local Area Council in November, but a decision was delayed after Northumberland County Council’s leader, Coun. Peter Jackson, raised concerns over the site’s access.

However, neither the council’s highways department nor Highways England raised any issues, and the application was approved on Monday, February 10.

Objector Robert Young raised road safety issues at the meeting

He said: “Six people have had to be rescued from overturned vehicles on the brow of that hill.

“Our objections are based over fears for the safety of parents and children using Heddon Juniors Football Club, and not anything against the club.”

His concerns were echoed by parish councillor Paul Edwards.

But the club’s chairman, Liam Duffy, said: “I don’t understand the parish council’s objections given the support in the community.

“I just hope we can work together in the future for the benefit of the community.

“We want to emphasise that these proposals are not just acceptable but safe.”

The application was passed by nine votes to zero, with one abstention.

Coun. Peter Jackson, who had proposed refusing the application in November, did not attend the meeting.

Coun. Richard Wearmouth, who proposed granting permission, said: “Hopefully the club can move forward with the development and spend many happy years playing football there.”

But Coun. Veronica Jones, who represents Ponteland West, claimed she was still unsatisfied with the perceived highways issues.

She said: “I’m still very concerned about the access onto the A69.

“I’m with the parish council on that.

“My residents use that road, and the traffic already speeds up to join the A69.”