HUNDREDS of youngsters are celebrating after football playing fields were saved.

Youngsters from Rosegrove Tate Oil FC launched a campaign, backed by the Lancashire Telegraph, in May last year to save the pitches at the former Habergham High School.

The club, which has more than 150 young players and is used recreationally by many more residents, feared it would be left homeless if the Kiddrow Lane site was sold to developers by Lancashire County Council.

The campaign won the backing of Burnley FC stars including goalkeeper Tom Heaton, and more than 2,000 people signed a petition to prevent the developer’s bid being successful.

But campaigners have now been told the playing fields will not be built on after it was revealed that the new £5million Burnley High School will be moving on to the site and will keep the site open for use.

Campaigner Zoe Pennington, who is secretary of the club, said: “It’s a real triumph for the kids.

“I’d like to thank councillors Neil Mottershead and Charlie Briggs, and the Lancashire Telegraph for all their support. Coun Mottershead said himself and Coun Briggs had been working with bosses at the free school to ensure the children and residents would still be able to use the fields.

Coun Briggs said: “It’s great news for the residents of the area.”

Clarets keeper Tom Heaton said: "It's great news that the playing fields have been saved. It's important these grass roots environments are preserved so that children, especially, have somewhere to go and take part in sport."

Nobody from Lancashire County Council was available for comment.