LEGAL experts will help decide the future of a Mirfield sports field at the centre of a controversial plan.
Bedding company John Cotton hopes to expand on to the West Mills ground off Huddersfield Road.
The firm wants to build a lorry park and warehouse.
But the land was given to the people of Mirfield for sporting use in 1970 by the religious order of the Community of the Resurrection - forever.
A barrister employed by Kirklees Council, the trustees of the land, is now looking at the deeds.
Debate over the future of the playing fields raged at a public meeting attended by more than 100 people in Mirfield last night.
Protests have been made by Battyeford Sporting Club about the move.
The club has about 400 members and is about to make a £450,000 bid to the Football Foundation for a new clubhouse and educational facilities at the playing fields.
The meeting was attended by two members of the council's Cabinet - Clr John Smithson, who is responsible for leisure services, and Clr Andrew Pinnock, who deals with planning and regeneration.
They were handed a 2,500-name petition calling for them to protect the fields from development.