Red card for junior soccer pitch plan
PLANS to use an open space in the heart of a housing estate for young footballers could be kicked into touch by residents. Sandy Town Council wants to use the ground in the middle of the Fallowfield Estate for recreational use, including the building of c
PLANS to use an open space in the heart of a housing estate for young footballers could be kicked into touch by residents.
Sandy Town Council wants to use the ground in the middle of the Fallowfield Estate for recreational use, including the building of changing rooms, a car park and two junior football pitches.
The council says there is a lack of facilities for young footballers in the town with teams travelling to nearby Potton and Biggleswade to play games.
Next month the town council is expected to explore the possibility of developing the site but it has been warned to expect fierce opposition from residents especially those in Merlin Drive whose homes face the open space.
"The council originally wanted to use part of the land, which is a public open space, for junior football pitches and also have changing rooms and a car park there," said Cllr Nigel Aldis, who is also chairman of the council's parks and open spaces committee.
"We understand local residents are not keen on the idea and are getting up a petition against the proposals.
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"There are not enough facilities for young people in the town to play football and they have to go to nearby towns to play games.
"We will listen to what the residents have to say and the council will discuss this in full at their next meeting. But these proposals are likely to be a hot potato with a lot of opposition from Fallowfield residents."
Heading the campaign against the development is Merlin Drive resident Mark Almond who has lived in the town for nine months.
"I have two children and a lot of other couples have children and we currently have a safe environment for them to play in," said Mr Almond.
"The council want to take away a piece of common ground where children play and people walk their dogs. Building a car park near the school and changing facilities would ruin the whole site.
"When I bought my property nothing appeared in the searches to say there were any proposals for the green to be developed into a recreational facility by the council.
"The council did send out a letter about their proposals but it only went to a few homes. There are 600 homes on this estate. I think the council was trying to get the plan through on the quiet by saying this plot of land was Ivel Park.
"It is no such thing. Calling this Ivel Park has confused residents. But the campaign has started to fight these proposals and I am determined, even if I have to deliver them by hand, every house on the estate will have a letter informing of them what is going on and how they can protest on a petition.
"We will fight this proposal because residents don't want it and there is no need for it.