A DISUSED piece of land in Kearsley is likely to be the proposed site for Bolton Council’s new cycle track, the Bolton News can reveal.

The council is looking for alternative sites on which to build the track — after agreeing not to develop land on Leverhulme Park following a major public backlash.

While the council said it still has options on the table, it is understood that a large area of open space next to Park View in Kearsley, behind the Esso Petrol Station in Bolton Road is the preferred option.

And we can also reveal that as part of plans to develop the site, the authority is also looking at creating a new 3G sports pitch on the site, which would be used by members of the public as well as students from the nearby Kearsley Academy.

Council leader Cliff Morris, who shocked the town hall chamber last month when he unexpectedly announced that the council would look to build the track away from Leverhulme Park, said: “I am pleased with the progress we are making in looking at potential sites in the borough.

"One site in particular we are looking at could likely bring two assets to the community. The piece of land has been untouched for many years and it needs to be cleaned up.

"Once it has been made safe, I want to explore options as to how we can hand it back to the community and look at how best it can service local people for many years to come."

That site is thought to be the land in Kearsley — known to some locally as Singing Clough — which is thought to have been the base for a rubbish tip at some stage.

Kearsley Councillor Liam Irving said he would be ‘delighted’ if the plans came to fruition.

He said: “If this site is chosen for these two new sporting facilities then I think it will be absolutely brilliant for Kearsley and for Bolton.

“I do think this type of thing is needed around here because there isn’t a lot for young people to do.

“This land is not used at all and it could be turned into an area of excellence for sport, which would be brilliant.”

He added: “It is hard to see why people would object to this, especially if it means a disused site being cleaned up and brought into use.”

The news has also been warmly welcomed by those who strongly objected to the Leverhulme Park proposals. This includes the Friends of Leverhulme Park group, which was set out to fight those plans.

Member Claire Phillips said: “If this proposal goes ahead we would be ecstatic, it is what we have been campaigning for.

“We always said that while our campaign was to retain the green space in the park, we also wanted a really good sporting facility to be developed in Bolton in the right place, which we think is an exciting opportunity.

“This latest plan would do that and would redevelop a piece of land that is not being used and could result in a facility that people in Bolton are proud of.”

She added: “I have to give credit to Bolton Council, they have listened to people and understood what they were saying.”

Another person who campaigned against the Leverhulme Park scheme was Darcy Lever resident Natalie Yates, who submitted a judicial review against the proposal.

She said: “Hearing this news makes all the hard work worth it and I think it also shows the value of people power.I would be absolutely over the moon if that site was chosen, it could result in a really good regeneration project and a great facility for Bolton.

“It is also very close to Farnworth so the connection with Jason Kenny would be there too.”