A DIFFICULT two-year battle to save a junior football club in Abingdon may take longer to conclude due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Vale of the White Horse District Council revealed.

Abingdon Vale Cricket Club had its application to build a three-storey block of flats on a field on Northcourt Lane used by more than 50 junior football players rejected twice.

After launching an appeal against the verdict made by the district's planning committee, the evaluation was scheduled for January 29 and then June 2 as not all issues were discussed at the first hearing.

However, a spokesperson for the district council explained that the appeal might be rescheduled due to the pandemic.

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They said: "The planning inspectorate is responding to the Covid-19 situation and in the event that the hearing cannot take place at the scheduled time, interested parties will be kept informed as soon as the council hear from the inspectorate."

The first application for the former cricket pitch was refused in February 2019.

The cricket club faced a slew of objections from councillors, residents and even the government body Sport England.

More than 54 neighbours raised concerns against the unpopular application including fears over traffic increase on the narrow Northcourt Lane, the land being in a conservation area, the 'inappropriate' character of the plans for a rural area and the loss of a community football pitch.

To learn more about the major application, visit whitehorsedc.gov.uk using reference code P18/V2449/O.