FOOTBALL pitches controversially identified for housing use are to be mowed by the council for the final time.

The playing fields across from the former Longbow pub on Barnsley Road in Darfield were identified for housing land by the council last summer.

The fields were formerly owned and maintained by Darfield Foulstone but since the school was closed in July, responsibility passed to the council's estates department.

But at a public meeting last week, Cllr Brian Key announced the grass would be cut by the council for the final time this month, at a cost of £800.

In respect of the football teams who use the field, however, he said: "Either they cut it themselves or they go down to Netherwood school to play. It wouldn't be fair to everyone else to continue to pay for it to be cut when not everyone uses it."

Darfield JFC has used the field for more than 20 years and has hundreds of children playing in teams ranging from under-sixes to under 16s.

Manager Andy Lowe said that, as a voluntary organisation, it would not be possible for the team to regularly pay for the cutting of the grass. He said: "If it's going to come down to the club, it's a massive burden financially, so there's no chance we would be able to do that."