VILLAGERS are celebrating after councillors ignored planning advice and gave a new youth club the green light.
Plans to launch the Emley Village Youth and Community Centre in the old football club tearooom hit the buffers after Kirklees Highways objected.
Highways officers said they considered the entrance to the Welfare Ground club too dangerous because it has poor sight lines.
Other objections included that the increase in traffic would be cause congestion at the narrow junction and that youths would loiter on the site after it was closed.
The representations caused planning officers to recommend the plan was turned down.
But councillors on Kirklees Council’s Heavy Woollen Planning Sub-Committee ruled that the new building would be of a massive benefit to the community and gave it the thumbs up.
Terry Higgins, chairman of the Emley Village Youth and Community Centre, said: “We were always quietly hopeful, everyone’s really pleased.
“We were very lucky that all the local councillors were fully behind it and gave us strong support so we owe them an awful lot.
“Everyone’s ready to go so hopefully we’ll be able to start work in the next few weeks.”
Clr Elaine Ward, said she was delighted common sense had prevailed.
The Denby Dale Tory, said: “The committee thought it was an opportunity too good to be missed.
“It gives the young a place to go as well as the elderly who are often lonely, it will include a day centre for them.”
The derelict football club building has stood abandoned since the club moved on following its 1998 FA Cup run.
The then Unibond league team were minutes from a third round replay with Premiership West Ham when Welsh international striker John Hartson scored to put the Hammers through with a 2-1 home win.
But the cash windfall from the valiant run enabled Emley to build new facilities.
The group have already secured funding from a range of sources and local tradesmen are set to volunteer their time to help transform the boarded up eyesore, which is owned by the Emley Moor Miners’ Welfare Trust, into a new community centre.
The youth club is set to run two or three nights a week, while the community centre will operate all week, with possible events including coffee mornings, mother and toddler groups and bingo.