West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has secured a commitment from West Lancashire Borough Council that they will investigate reports of planning breaches at Burscough Football Club’s Victoria Park.
Following concerns raised by a number of residents and Burscough Independent Supporters Association about alleged planning breaches at the ground, MP Rosie raised the concerns with agencies including West Lancashire Borough Council.
Rosie also raised concerns with Lancashire County Council and Burscough Priory about the traffic management and with Sport England and Natural England also who provided the council with advice on planning conditions related to the ground.
Burscough FC’s Victoria Park has planning permission approved for housing development subject to an outstanding Section 106 agreement, but no work should start until the successful completion of the new football ground next to the current site.
Supporters and local residents have been sceptical throughout about owner Martin Gilchrist’s motives and whether the club will end up with a ground at all.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper commented:
“It is high time that the Council took a day to day interest and undertook a full investigation into the actions of Mr Gilchrist and Chequer and the work they have undertaken at Victoria Park.
“Local residents are watching in disgust as their local ground is wrecked while the Council appear not to take decisive action to ensure that no breaches have occurred or are occurring.
“I welcome the latest assurance from the Council that they will be investigating four potential breaches of conditions in the construction of the new ground. I have responded to them urging them to take the strongest action possible as quickly as possible.
“Most people will expect Mr Gilchrist to have no regard for the rules whilst anticipating the council will follow the rules to the letter while he will do as he wishes.
“It is time for the council to show they will not be pushed around and bullied by those who think they can make a profit whilst those who follow the rules are left miles behind.”
The conditions being investigated are 10, 17, 19 and 20 of planning application 2015/0904/FUL which relate to a travel plan, surface water and pollution prevention, works close to the bank of a ditch, and the construction environment management plan which includes measures to mitigate impacts on biodiversity.