Residents’ campaign to save playing field
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.
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)