Calls to scrap football pitch at Chorley's new £2.2m sports hub in favour of a 400m running track

Illustration of the Westway Sports Hub (Chorley Council)
Illustration of the Westway Sports Hub (Chorley Council)

Hundreds have signed a petition to scrap plans for a football pitch at a multi-million pound sports hub – replacing it with a 400 metre athletics track.

Two weeks ago plan were revealed for a £2.2 million sports hub on the Westway playing fields between West Way and Chancery Road in Astley Village.

Blueprints of the project (Chorley Council)

Blueprints of the project (Chorley Council)

The scheme is looking to create a floodlit full-sized artifical grass pitch and three grass pitches; one full-size and two nine-a-side. There is also plans for a 100 metre sprint track and two long jump pits.

READ MORE: First look at the £2.2 million sports hub - including football pitches and a 100m athletics track - coming to Chorley
But calls have now been launched to scrap one of the three grass pitches and create a 400 metre athletics track, with more than 320 people signing a petition backing the call.

Taking to social media, the man behind the petition on Change.org, Sam Button, said: “I would suggest the lack of any athletics area is unfair on the large amount of runners in our area, who would benefit from a full sized 400m athletics track.

“A couple of dedicated football areas will be fantastic, but let’s have something for us runners too.”

Coun Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council said: "One of the reasons that the development is focused on the football pitches is that there is an identified shortage of football pitches in the borough, particularly ones that have good drainage.

"We have been in discussions with the Football Foundation for some time and they have responded positively, which stands us in good stead when we come to put a bid in.

"The fact that we have a multi-pitch facility is going to give our funding bid more chance of being successful."

He added that he “understands there is a demand” for athletics facilities, with the council in contact with Chorley Tri and Athletics Club as part of the process for the development.

“We understand there is a demand for athletics facilities too and throughout the process we have been in contact with Chorley Tri and Athletics Club," said Coun Bradley.

"As a result of this we have future proofed the site to include athletics provision, subject to further funds being raised and I welcome the support of residents as Chorley cannot afford to provide a full 400m track and other facilities on its own.

"Rather we would look for support from National Athletics organisations and the government to work with us as the Football Foundation have done and invest in Chorley and our residents sports requirements."

To view the petition visit https://www.change.org/p/chorley-council-chorley-wants-a-400m-athletics-track