BROOMFIELDS Youth Project has been given planning permission for a new centre despite complaints from nearby residents in Appleton.

Concerns were raised from neighbours over anti-social behaviour and an increase in traffic but police officers from Warrington South said they were backing the proposal.

The application for the centre at the back of Broomfields Leisure Centre, which would be used by the youth project on Friday nights, was heard at the council’s development control meeting on Wednesday.

Before making their decision, the committee heard the number of incidents of anti-social behaviour had dropped by 63 per cent before Christmas compared to the same period of time in 2012.

Resident Eric McElroy said: “These facilities should not be provided to the detriment of people living locally.

“Historically residents living adjacent to the project have suffered anti-social behaviour, damage to property on occasions and police have had to respond by increasing resources.

“If 200 young people are going to congregate in one area tensions and difficulties are probable and with alcohol involved this could escalate to anti-social activity.”

Michelle Adamson, beat manager from Cheshire Police said before the youth project was in place, 250 incidents of anti-social behaviour would be reported in a month on average in the area.

She added: “There have been peaks and troughs since November 2009 but figures are now down to less than 100 a month which is a significant reduction.

“I can’t say it’s all down to the work of the youth project but they have offered a facility for young people.”

A senior youth worker from the project also pointed out it had won awards and they have had 200 teens attending on just one occasion two years ago with the average being 60 to 70 in the summer and 30 to 40 in the winter.

Clearer signs are also set to be installed for an overflow car park to reduce car parking and traffic issues.

Councillors said they could see no reason to refuse the application and it was given unanimous approval provided conditions are met including a gate being installed in a gap in a nearby fence.

They also called for regular meetings between the project organisers and neighbours living nearby.