HANDS off our recreation ground.
That was the message from concerned residents at a gathering held to protest against plans to use some of the park land as allotments.
Stroud Green Recreation Ground has been public access land for over 150 years after it was gifted to the village ‘to enjoy exercise and recreation’. But it has been proposed as a site extend the neighbouring allotments.
Resident Maureen Scott said: ‘We support those who are waiting for an allotment however, we don’t think this should be at the loss of an ancient public open space.
‘Once lost it will never be replaced.’
The Gathering on the Green saw families take part in rounders and football and enjoy refreshments.
Local ward councillor Carolyn Heneghan attended and has been involved from the beginning of the campaign.
She said: ‘Protecting our only green public area in the north of Stubbington village is very important and the council underestimated the significance of this land to the neighbourhood.’
A number of alternative sites in the Stubbington were previously proposed, including land near Gosport Road, but residents were told could no longer be used as it would be used for the plant equipment for the Stubbington bypass.
Maureen said: ‘Residents believe the Daedalus site, which is council-owned land and used to have allotments on it, would be ideal to reinstate the allotment facility on what would be a very small acreage of the total site and with good road access, unlike Stroud Green.’
Hampshire County Councillor Pal Hayre, who attended the event, said: ‘Stroud Green is sided by two single-track lanes that could not take further traffic without threatening safety.’
Residents strongly objected the proposals and the consultation period was extended.
Maureen added: ‘We submitted many objection letters and comments to the online survey as well as a petition of 420 signatures.’
‘If there is a waiting list for allotments in this area it should not be satisfied by the loss of any of the recreation ground.’