180 people sign petition against football pitch bid

Val Newitt and Wendy Beazley at the Clanfield exhibition
Val Newitt and Wendy Beazley at the Clanfield exhibition
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MORE than 180 people have signed a petition against plans for football pitches in front of their new homes.

Residents of new estate Windmill View, off Green Lane in Clanfield, say they were not told about the plans when they bought their properties from Bovis Homes and David Wilson Homes over the past three years.

They say they were told the large green which the houses were built around would have facilities such as a community centre and a games court – but not two junior football pitches.

Developers deny they misled people and at Clanfield Memorial Hall on Saturday the parish council put up a display that showed the football pitch plans were first outlined by East Hampshire District Council in 2004.

Robert Groom, who is heading the campaign against the pitches, said: ‘On the plan in the David Wilson sales office there was indication of football pitches on the green area – a rough artist’s impression sketch.

‘My wife asked about them and was told “they are unlikely to gain permission for football pitches as they already have football facilities at Peel Park”. Some months later, we were told that the council had missed the deadline by which it needed to submit its plans to the developers to have the community facilities paid for.’

It is not just residents of Windmill View who are unhappy. Valerie Newitt, 69, of White Beam Rise, said: ‘I don’t think any football pitches should be stuck in the middle of a residential area.

‘We already hear noise from Peel Park pitches in the summer and these will be even closer to us.’

But there is also huge support for the community facilities, including the pitches.

Wendy Beazley, also of White Beam Rise, said currently youngsters have to travel to other villages to use their pitches.

She said: ‘I quite agree with what they’re trying to do.’

Paul Evans, who hopes to set up a tennis club on the site, said: ‘I grew up here and when I was young my choice was hang out at the church youth club or the car park at the shops.

‘I don’t know why anyone would be against these facilities.’

Bovis and David Wilson Homes, who are funding the scheme, said they have been open with buyers.