A DECISION on a Pool-in-Wharfedale firm's plans to build new housing and sports facilities is expected next week.

Weidmann Whiteley Ltd is seeking permission for a scheme that would see nine homes, plus a new sports pitch and clubhouse*, created on its grounds at Pool Paper Mills.

The houses would be erected on the site of an existing sports pitch while the new pitch, along with changing facilities and car parking, would be provided on land to the south of the main mill buildings.

The South and West Plans Panel will consider the scheme - and a recommendation for delegated approval - when it meets at Leeds Civic Hall on Thursday, February 21.

The recommendation is based on a number of conditions including that:

*Proceeds from the sale of the existing sports pitch be used to provide the new pitch and club, with the remainder reinvested in Weidmann Whiteley's paper manufacturing base at Pool

*The sports pitch and club is a permanent community facility.

*The Secretary of State does not decide to call the application in, given that the development is within the Green Belt.

The report that will be presented to the meeting concludes: "The development of the sports pitch is considered acceptable in the Green Belt.

"With regards to the other elements...it is considered that cumulatively the significant social and economic benefits arising from the development, with the potential for job retention and creation and the provision of a permanent community sports facility, as well as the limited harm identified, can amount to very special circumstances to clearly outweigh the harm to the green belt."

*The facilities would be used by Pool Juniors AFC, which currently uses the site's cricket pitch.