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Howzat for a brilliant idea to save Long Sutton’s cricket and hockey teams




Long Sutton Cricket Club - action v Claypole'Batting for Sutton is Dan Oldfield (black stripe on sides) - hits four to win the match.
Long Sutton Cricket Club - action v Claypole'Batting for Sutton is Dan Oldfield (black stripe on sides) - hits four to win the match.

Three new bungalows could be built in an unused corner of the Park Road cricket field in Long Sutton to safeguard the future of cricket and hockey in the town.

Broadgate Homes is offering a lifeline to Long Sutton Cricket and Hockey Club, which is struggling to raise cash to maintain facilities, including the urgent replacement of an all-weather pitch at Peele Leisure Centre for hockey matches.

Ian White, chairman of Long Sutton Cricket and Hockey Club, said: “It’s a joint club and there’s that sort of wasteland corner of the ground that hasn’t been used and, as far as we can possibly say, never will be used, and hopefully the money raised will secure the long term future of both sections of the club.

“Long Sutton is a small town but the cricket and hockey club has been integral to the sporting side of the place for more than my lifetime.”

He described the homes plan as “a wonderful opportunity to keep these clubs thriving and healthy for the foreseeable future”.

Mr White said the artificial pitch at the leisure centre had gone beyond the end of its normal life-span and, hopefully, the homes project will provide the money to replace it.

He said the cricket section runs two teams on a Saturday, one on a Sunday, and has a thriving youth section as well as a ladies’ team.

The hockey side has three men’s teams, two ladies’ teams and upwards of 40 juniors.

Broadgate Homes chief executive Ian Canham said if the homes are given planning consent, the development is expected to secure the future of the cricket and hockey club for a minimum of 20 years, providing sports facilities for future generations.

He said: “There’s a lot of young people around Long Sutton who play cricket and hockey in that area.”

Mr Canham said the idea has received support from Sport England because the scheme involves developing a piece of land that isn’t used for sport to secure the future of the rest of the field and other facilities that are used for sport.

Planning application documents submitted to South Holland District Council explain that the artificial pitch at Peele Leisure Centre is owned and managed by Long Sutton Community Sports Association, who have so far managed to raise only 50 per cent of the funds needed to re-surface it.

If the hockey section could not continue, the cricket section on its own could not meet the running costs of its pavilion and grounds.

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