Long Sutton Cricket and Hockey Club plans are hit for six
Plans to improve Long Sutton Cricket and Hockey Club by generating income from new housing have been dashed.
Developer Broadgate Homes, of Weston Hills, confirmed that a scheme to build three bungalows on an unused part of Long Sutton’s Paradise Field cricket ground in Park Road has been scrapped due to a 50-year-old “covenant” attached to the land.
A property owner benefiting from the covenant has objected to the development, following Long Sutton Parish Council’s lead not to support the plans because of road safety, loss of sports land and “quality of life concerns” for residents.
Ian White, chairman of Long Sutton Cricket and Hockey Club, said: “When the land was sold to the cricket club 50 years ago, a covenant was attached to the land, restricting its use for sport.
“Several properties adjoining the ground enjoy the benefit of that covenant and one of the property owners has been enlisted to invoke the covenant, making it impossible for the development to go ahead.
“We had been hopeful that the club would be allowed to proceed with the development of three bungalows because the section of land the proposal affects is not used by the cricket club, indeed, it has not been for several years.
“As the proposal would have also safeguarded the long-term viability of the club, we had support from Sport England as well.
“However, we feel that we have no choice but to withdraw the planning application, which is a bitter blow to both the cricket and hockey club, as the revenue generated would have assisted greatly in replacing the all-weather pitch at Peele Leisure Centre.”
Ian Canham, chief executive of Broadgate Homes, said: “Whilst both the club and Broadgate were aware of the existence of the covenant, we felt that as the land was no longer in use for sport and with sensitive design, we could have negated the effects on neighbouring properties.
“The development made sense, as it ensured the long-term security of both the cricket and hockey sections of the club and whilst there were some objections to the development, we remained confident we could have ensured everyone’s concerns could have been dealt with,
“However, when one of the beneficiaries of the covenant objected, it became clear that even with planning permission, the development was not able to proceed.
“Obviously, this is a major setback for the club, as it will now need to look to other avenues to secure funding for improvements.”