Dunmow Carnival Committee will not be able to hold this year's events in the usual format, due to the new multi-use games area (MUGA) on the recreation field.

Great Dunmow Town Council approved the building of the MUGA, new toilet block, storage facility and enlarged car park at an estimated cost of more than £600,000.

The carnival committee has accused them of ignoring the objections of the 'Don't Wreck the Rec' group, and the more than 30 people who wrote written objections to the council's planning application.

After hearing the council had been given permission, the committee was told they could not continue with their existing carnival layout, as 50 per cent of main area and stalls area would be a building site.

Nicola Insley, co-chair of the carnival, said: "Carnival will look a little different this year as we have to take into consideration the position of the MUGA and the associated works. 

"We were disappointed that the council did not reach out to any volunteer groups who organise the many community events that take place on the Recreation Grounds when considering the planning application. 

"These community events support local businesses and raise funds for local charities – this is the very essence of what makes Dunmow a great place to live. 

"We are working hard with other volunteer groups to ensure that these events continue but the loss of space certainly does have an impact."

The committee is now looking to see what can be salvaged of the event, which has grown since the first carnival in 1952.

Cllr Paul Anderson, chair of the downs and commons committee at Great Dunmow Town Council, said: "Within the overall project the town gains a Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) , which will be used primarily for basketball, netball and five a side football and as a general play area.

"The MUGA is sited close to the skate park and playground which will be useful  for our younger residents.

"We also upgraded the public toilets, including improving disabled access and providing child changing facilities, an improvement that is long overdue.  

"In addition the council gains some necessary storage both for the sports equipment used on the recreation ground and new equipment that is required to maintain all the new public open spaces.

"The actual land area that will be developed is very small compared to the overall open spaces of the recreation ground.

"This project has been in discussion and consultation since 2013 and several areas around Dunmow have been considered as possible locations.


"The location selected by the council provides the best balance between the benefits provided by the facilities and the loss of amenity for other users of the recreation ground.

"The council is aware that any location that would be selected would be objected to by some residents and users of the recreation ground.

"As an expanding town it is essential that the council provides additional amenities for our residents, especially for our younger residents, and this important project enables us to provide this."