A CRICKET club at the heart of a new £4.6million East Lancashire Sports Village has been given the go-head to add state-of-the-art covered nets to its redevelopment.
Darwen Cricket And Sports Club in Mostyn Street is already building an extension with covered seating to its Birch Hall ground.
Now it has been granted planning permission for the replacement of the existing cricket nets with a canopied alternative with LED lights over three lanes and surrounding netting.
The nets will be open to the public offering the opportunity to practice and play cricket throughout the year.
In August the 121-year-old club was given the planning go ahead by Blackburn with Darwen Council for a single-storey extension to its clubhouse providing additional seating with a new covered and glazed spectator area.
Its modernisation is a key part of the Darwen Town Deal’s plans for a new £4.6m East Lancashire Sports Village with AFC Darwen and Junction4 Skatepark.
A report recommending approval of the new nets with five conditions by planner Christian Barton says: "This application involves the erection of a replacement three-lane cricket net facility to be used for cricket practice.
"The facility would have a length of 37metre, a width of 15m and a curved roof up to 7.3m in height.
"Metal poles would be used to construct the frame and it would have a fabric roof and internal mesh lining.
"Artificial grass would be used for surfacing. 21 LED lights would also be installed.
"The development forms part of a wider initiative to improve the facilities of the cricket club.
"The proposals would replace an existing facility with a similar footprint within an open sports facility.
"They would form a light structure with open sides and mesh inner lining.
"The proposals would replace an existing facility of the same use and of a similar size The proposals would not appear overbearing to the immediate neighbours.
"The facility would be operated in-line with the opening hours of the cricket club, between 9am and 10pm.
"Such hours are commonplace in the context of sports clubs and use would only likely be seasonal and intermittent throughout the year.
"The external lighting would predominantly only illuminate the facility and light spillage would be minimal."
One of the five conditions imposed says 'no above ground works shall commence until a surface water drainage strategy has first been approved in writing. Any measures installed shall thereafter remain in perpetuity'.