Manchester United’s plans to re-develop their training ground have hit the buffers this week – because of water voles.

United had been hoping to push through plans to expand their Carrington training complex with new pitches and under-soil heating in the pipeline.

But ecology experts have torn up the proposals after discovering a collection of water voles have made part of the proposed re-development site their home.

The rodents must now be catered for before United can move forward with their building work.

Any new proposal must allow the voles enough space for their elaborate burrowing system with environmentalists suggesting the Premier League champions must double their original plot size to around six hectares to incorporate the rodents.

The news is unlikely to go down well with manager David Moyes who has endured a tough start to life as United manager and had been pushing for the changes to the training ground.

‘The manager is keen for the improvements to be made as soon as possible so this is yet another problem’ said a source.