Campaigners told plans for Darwen running track must receive go-ahead from Westminster (From This Is Lancashire)
Campaigners told plans for Darwen running track must receive go-ahead from Westminster
CAMPAIGNERS hoping to set up an athletics facility on the site of a former Darwen school have been told the council must request such changes from the Government.
Darwen MP Jake Berry wrote to Education Secretary Michael Gove asking for permission to change the site at the former Darwen Moorland High from a school to a running track with football pitches and a rugby pitch.
But Mr Gove has told Mr Berry the request must come from the local council.
The MP has now written to chief executive of Blackburn with Darwen Council, Harry Catherall, asking him to contact the Secretary of State himself.
The council’s executive board have already written to Mr Gove, asking permission to dispose of the site, as per the agreement put in place when Darwen Aldridge Community Academy was built.
And executive member for schools and education Coun Dave Harling said no decisions could be taken until a response had been received.
He said: “No decision has been taken and indeed none can be taken until we have permission from the Government to dispose of the site.
“When we built the academy, part of the deal was that we would dispose of the old school.
“But that doesn’t mean we will look for a quick disposal and sell the site for housing.
“It may well be that the best solution is to go for a sports facility but we will have to look at that once we have heard back from the Government.” The idea to bring an athletics facility to Darwen first arose when former Darwen Town Council leader Steve Duncan said a running track should be set up at Blacksnape playing fields in the wake of the successful London Olympics.
He proposed a facility that could act as a feeder to Blackburn’s Witton Park, where the more successful Darwen youngsters could train in their home town and only need to travel to Blackburn if they were particularly successful.
It was decided Blacksnape would not be feasible and so the campaigners, including the town’s MP, set their sites on the fields around the former school, which include the Square Meadow behind.
Comments are closed on this article.