Plans to create a new football hub in Sheffield are set to be agreed by councillors next week.
The proposals would turn playing fields at the back of Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre in Norton into two artificial, all weather pitches also with a pavilion building for changing facilities, club room and education space plus car parking.
Sheffield was chosen as the first city to benefit from a Football Association partnership aimed at doubling the amount of 3G pitches in the country.
Reports to next Tuesday’s council planning committee say the FA has outlined a ‘falling involvement of English players at the top level of the game’ and recommends football hubs be created to improve the sport at grassroots level.
The council is currently revamping the leisure centre - as well as building a new one at Thorncliffe Recreation Ground in High Green - and the application for the football hub has ‘coincides’.
The report adds: “The provision of additional all weather pitches is hoped to deliver affordable facilities which will be self-sustaining in the future.”
When FA chairman Greg Dyke visited Sheffield to launch the £10 million pilot scheme he said creating football hubs in the city, with five new 3G pitches could help one of Sheffield’s two clubs get back to the top flight by offering better facilities to future generations of players.
Five letters of objection to the plans have raised concerns about extra noise and light pollution for nearby residents, the effect on flooding and claims the fields will no longer be used for a variety of sports.
Sport England has been consulted and says there is a ‘strong need’ for the pitches to justify the loss of the fields.
The plans have been amended to reduce the impact of noise on residents, deal with drainage issues and ensure the buildings fit with their surroundings.
They are recommended for approval subject to conditions.