AFTER years of waiting plans to revamp playing fields in Devizes are about to kick off.

The town council has finally overcome worries over wildlife, upset of archers and problems with the lease so work on the £1.7 million Green Lane project can start next month.

A deal has been reached with Wiltshire Football Association which will allow an all-weather 3G pitch, three grass pitches and changing rooms with showers and toilets to be built.

The FA will have offices on the first floor of the pavilion and take on the day to day running of the centre.

Town Clerk Simon Fisher said: "It has been a long time coming but we are excited that at last work can get underway. We just have a few final small details to complete on the lease but we now have all the money in place."

The town council is paying £200,000 towards the scheme with the rest coming from grants mainly from the Football Foundation and Football Association.

It is hoped the artificial pitch will be ready for use before Christmas with the rest of the facilities finished early next year.

Mr Fisher said: "Devizes Football Club, Devizes Town Youth and Bishops Cannings youth will all be using the pitches and we want it to be used by as many different groups as possible.

"We want to encourage girls' and women's teams and walking football. We expect quite a few courses will be run by there by the FA and we are hoping for a link with Swindon Town's community football programme."

In the past the archery club that used Green Lane was upset about access but this has now been ironed out and fears for bats have also been allayed by a change in positioning of the 3G pitch and the use of reduced glare floodlighting.

Dog walkers are to be discouraged but there will still be public access to the fields and skate park area.

Mr Fisher said: "There are plenty of other places nearby for people to walk their dogs."