New village green - first stage sealed

PUBLISHED: 08:04 28 October 2010

The village green plan

The village green plan

Archant

DELIGHTED officials have sealed the first stage of a project to install a central village green complete with modern sports facilities.

Hatfield Broad Oak (HBO) parish council in conjunction with the village football and cricket clubs has permission to level-off a swathe of land in the village centre for football and cricket pitches.

The plan is part of a gradual process to build a facility which will include a pavilion, changing facilities, car parking and playing and training areas.

Parish council chairman Keith Artus said: “Much hard work has been done by councillors, club members, community representatives and young people.

“There’s a real desire to bring traditional sports back into the village whilst at the same time making a large natural area open for public access.”

The entire project is set to completely alter the land on the Barrington Hall estate and will include a nature reserve and a green with children’s play areas and youth shelters.

Although well supported, some concerns have been raised by residents living nearby.

Out of 193 representations 90 have objected stating that pitches are not needed and that it will destroy a natural wildlife habitat.

Speaking on behalf of residents Ken Johnston, a director of planning and development for over 20 years, said: “This is an emotive application, the fact is 90 people have objected to it. In this context that is a huge number.

“There are issues over access, parking, historical grounds with archaeological value, and the fact that homes will be blighted by the landscape which is being levelled.”

Despite the concerns, Uttlesford District Council have passed the first stage of the plan.

Once the land, next to the B183, is levelled, a parking scheme will be discussed followed by an application for a sports pavilion.

Football club chairman Mark Strutt said the current sports facilities on the edge of town were dangerous and that the move had to be made.

“We are committed to youth involvement,” he said. “We are ready willing an able to promote sports in the village and to help the community.

“This is a carefully crafted plan and is so much more than just sports pitches.”

Agreeing with the project, Cllr Christina Cant, who had a major hand in creating similar facilities in Stebbing, said: “This is too good an opportunity to miss.”

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