Res­i­dents’ cam­paign to save play­ing field

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Message Board - By ASHA ME­HTA

OUT­RAGED res­i­dents have launched a cam­paign urg­ing the coun­cil to keep their hands off a com­mu­nity play­ing field.

A row has been sparked af­ter Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil un­veiled plans to trans­fer con­trol of the field, off Au­gus­tine’s Walk in Wood­ston, Peter­bor­ough, to the nearby River­side Com­mu­nity Pavil­ion sports cen­tre.

But res­i­dents have hit out at the move be­cause they fear it will be rented out, pre­vent­ing peo­ple from en­joy­ing the swathe of open space for free.

Now, more than 250 peo­ple have signed a pe­ti­tion call­ing on the coun­cil to re-think the pro­pos­als.

Ja­son Baker (27), of St Au­gus­tine’s Walk, branded the news “disgusting”.

He said: “We don’t want the field touched. It used to be an old school field and was given to the coun­cil for 100 years by a catholic school, in the be­lief that it would be used for the com­mu­nity. Only 30 years have passed.

“This is my field. My nan lives round the corner op­po­site the field. When I was lit­tle, she would babysit me and we would go and play there. “It’s part of our her­itage. “We won’t be able to get in freely if River­side con­trol it. I know of 250 peo­ple that are out­raged and will be protest­ing against this.”

He said letters were put through peo­ple’s doors on May 28 spell­ing out the plans.

As well as the pe­ti­tion, Mr Baker, who is spear­head­ing the cam­paign, said he would be putting up posters around the area en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to have their say.

A city coun­cil spokes­woman said they were con­sult­ing with res­i­dents about the pro­pos­als to trans­fer the field to River­side Com­mu­nity Pavil­ion so it can be used for train­ing ses- sions and ju­nior foot­ball games. She added: “If agreed, the land will be man­aged and main­tained by River­side Com­mu­nity Pavil­ion. How­ever or­gan­ised groups would be able to book use of the pitches af­ter 4pm each week­day at a re­duced rate.”

But Mr Baker said this would limit who could use it. He said: “They want to rent it out and fence it off from peo­ple. Ev­ery­body uses it - dog walk­ers, the gen­eral pub­lic, my kids, my neigh­bours’ kids.

“Hav­ing it open to the com­mu­nity in the evenings is not good enough. And it’s disgusting to charge for it.”

No one from the River­side cen­tre was avail­able for com­ment.

Res­i­dents liv­ing next to the field are still able to make com­ments dur­ing the con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod, which ends on Fri­day, June 11 at 5pm by writ­ing to David Denson, head of op­er­a­tions, Peter­bor­ough City Ser­vices, Nurs­ery Lane, Fen­gate, Peter­bor­ough, PE1 5BG.

Pic­ture: DaviD Lown­Des.

bat­tling: Res­i­dents liv­ing near the St Au­gus­tine’s Walk play­ing field at Wood­ston protest at plans which could stop them us­ing the field. (METP-05-06-10DL198)

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