Football clubs to be kicked off playing fields

Published date: 22 November 2012 |
Published by: Jim Green
Read more articles by Jim Green

Clubs affected include Greyhound FC 

FOOTBALL clubs are being kicked off threatened playing fields near Blacon.

Bark Street Investments wants to build more than 140 homes on football and rugby pitches on Clifton Drive, off Sealand Road.

The proposals have been met with strong opposition from residents and the sporting community, with Blacon councillors calling for the pitches to be saved.

Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) is currently considering the planning application with a decision expected before Christmas.

But three football clubs who use the pitches have now been told they must find somewhere else to play from December 1.

University of Chester, who leased the pitches, has confirmed the lease will be ending regardless of whether or not planning permission is granted.

Clubs affected are Chester and District Football League sides Waggon and Horses FC, Greyhound FC and Chester Supporters FC.

A spokesman for the university, which plans to use existing pitches at the Kingsway campus, said the clubs had been offered the use of those pitches.

She said: “The university’s occupancy of the Clifton Road site will terminate as part of the strategy for relocation of the sporting activities there and to permit the development.

“Any local groups using the site are being offered alternative provision, regardless of the outcome of the application proposals."

Blacon councillors Reggie Jones, Carolyn Graham and Marie Nelson are among those who objected to the housing plans nd they want CWaC to explore whether funding from Sport England’s Protecting Playing Fields programme could be used to buy the site and improve the pitches.

Chester and District Football League secretary Paul Graham has pledged his support for the councillors’ suggestion.

He said: “This is something the various football leagues already had in mind. We hope to get together as one body so we can apply for funding.”

Sport England has opposed the scheme because the pitches are not being properly replaced.

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