Knebworth cricket club plans opposed by parish council

An artist's impression of the proposed clubhouse

An artist's impression of the proposed clubhouse - Credit: Archant

Controversial plans to relocate a cricket club were opposed by Knebworth Parish Council this week.

Knebworth Park Cricket Club (KPCC), which has been going since 1873, is based in the grounds of Knebworth House but has been asked to move to another part of the estate by owner Henry Lytton-Cobbold.

The club has submitted a planning application to North Herts District Council (NHDC) to build a new pavilion, three cricket pitches and an access road to the site opposite the Lytton Arms pub in Park Lane.

At a parish council meeting in Knebworth Village Hall on Monday, residents spoke out against the plans. One branded the clubhouse proposal “a glass monstrosity” and others raised concerns about road safety and out of season activities.

A spokesman from the cricket club said not supporting the plans could lead to the “potential demise” of the historic club.

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When asked why people had taken against the plans, club chairman Chris Johnson said: “Nobody likes change.”

He added: “The clubhouse will be tucked away and the ground will only be in use between mid-April and mid-September.”

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Chairman of the junior section Russell Haggar said: “Without a new ground then KPCC would have to fold, leaving Knebworth without a local club and leaving the East of England without one of its most vibrant junior cricket clubs.”

The council opposed the plans, citing drainage issues and the clubhouse being out of keeping with the conservation area.

Councillor John Bantick said: “I think it is an awful building, out of keeping with the rest of the village and should be scrapped and started again.”

The application will now be decided by NHDC later this month.

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