LONG SUTTON PARISH COUNCIL: Housebuilder’s lifeline for town sports club raises concerns
A potential lifeline for Long Sutton Cricket and Hockey Club in the form of new housing is to be opposed by parish councillors.
Plans to build three bungalows on an unused part of the town’s cricket ground in Park Road submitted on behalf of the sports club by Broadgate Homes of Weston Hills were reported in the Lincolnshire Free Press last week.
I know the club is apparently struggling for funding but I’ve not seen one request for help hit the parish council’s desk
Ian Canham, chief executive of Broadgate Homes, claimed that the development could secure the future of cricket and hockey teams in Long Sutton for at least the next 20 years.
But during their February meeting on Thursday, parish councillors said the scheme would affect the “quality of life” of residents in Park Road, create road safety risks and result in the loss of land that could be used for leisure purpose.
Coun Charles Moore, parish council chairman, said: “People have approached me a lot of concerns that drivers don’t slow down on the corner of Park Road and Park Lane.
“I understand that the cricket club itself decided to move the entrance to the ground from that end of Park Lane because of the number of accidents there.
“That corner is one of the worst in Long Sutton and there are also quality of life issues for people who live on Park Lane as they can currently look out onto the ground.
“I know the club is apparently struggling for funding but I’ve not seen one request for help hit the parish council’s desk.”
The last significant influx of money into the sports club came in November 2014 when it was awarded nearly £47,000 by Sport England to replace the clubhouse roof built in 1975.
But in March 2016, two lawn mowers were stolen from the ground and attempts to secure funding for a new all-weather pitch at Peele Leisure Centre for the hockey club to use have so far failed.
Speaking to the Free Press last week, club chairman Ian White said: “Long Sutton is a small town but the cricket and hockey club has been integral to the sporting side of things for longer than my lifetime.
“There’s some wasteland at one corner of the ground that hasn’t been used and, as far as we can possibly say, never will be used, so this plan to build three new bungalows there is a wonderful opportunity.
“Hopefully, the money raised will secure the long-term future of both sections of the club, keeping them thriving and healthy for the foreseeable future.”
But Coun Moore said: “The cricket ground is part of Long Sutton and just because a part of it has been left to grow and become unsightly, that shouldn’t mean highways, loss of land and quality of life concerns should be ignored.”