Bosses at an amateur football club have expressed their frustration after plans for a new ground in Bury will not be heard as quickly as they want as players struggles to cope with its facilities.

Wyresdale Football Club, which was established 125 years ago, is currently based off Inverbeg Drive in Breightmet, Bolton.

But the club is hoping to move to a new ground less than a mile away on land at Radcliffe Moor Road in Bury.

The club, which has three adult teams, has struck a deal with developer Westchurch Homes, which will see their old ground in Bolton used for affordable housing in exchange for them moving to a new site.

An application for 94 new houses on the land at Inverbeg Drive, which was submitted by Westchurch Homes, is due to be heard by Bolton Council at its next planning committee meeting on Thursday.

The club was hoping its plans for a new ground in Bury would be heard this month too.

The new ground will have four new pitches, a new club house, changing facilities and a car park.

But on Wednesday, June 15, the club and developers were told that despite the application being under review since October 2021, a lack of resource in the planning department and a failure to fully engage earlier in the process means the application won’t be heard this month.

This is despite a huge amount of technical information that was provided as part of the application, the club has said.

It has blamed "red tape delays" on the application not being decided earlier.

Wyresdale AFC chairman Stan Crawford said: “This really is a setback. The club is struggling with our current ground which has just two pitches, both of which are unplayable in winter due to extreme waterlogging.

“Our first team hires a pitch elsewhere to play and this plan to move to a new ground is vital to the future of our club.

“Westchurch Homes are building us a new ground with four properly drained pitches that will be playable all year round, a club house and changing facilities which will allow us to offer juniors a chance to play again and expand the club.

“Over the years, we have been a thriving club with six teams our clubhouse was centre of the local community hosting wedding receptions, christenings, and many community events, but the poor facilities have now made things almost impossible.”

He added: “We were hoping that the application would be heard in June so we could get on with the new ground and hopefully get some of the next season played at our new home.

“Now we are told there is more red tape we need to battle through. It’s heartbreaking.”

The club says there are strict rules about getting their new ground up and running before the old ground can be released.

Paul Sinclair, technical director at Westchurch Homes, said: “It is incredibly frustrating for both us and for the football club.

“Our proposals were submitted to Bury Council in October last year and we are now at a critical point whereby an approval after June may now mean the football pitches will not be ready the start of the club’s 23/24 season.

“This also has a huge impact on the residential development on Inverbeg Drive which is set to be delivered in partnership with registered provider Bolton at Home.

“A later start on site puts a risk on the deliverability of the housing development which is supported by Homes England under their current Affordable Homes Programme and requires homes to be complete by March 2026.”

Paul added: The new facility will provide millions of pounds of investment into the local economy.

“Bury has a chronic undersupply of playing pitches and the resistance we are being met with feels very much like the Council don’t want the scheme to come forward.

“We have tried to discuss the details and importance of this scheme with senior leaders of the council at various points of the application, but just had no engagement.”

Bury Council said it is following standard protocol.

A Bury Council spokesperson said “The reason the application will not be heard in June is due to part of the application containing insufficient information and the applicant is required to submit more details for consideration, relating to hydrology and ecology issues. 

"This is a normal and essential part of the planning application process.

“This is not ‘red tape’ from the council’s side but is part of the normal information that is needed as part of the planning application process.”