Howzat! Objectors stumped as village cricket club wins permission for new ground (From The Advertiser Series)
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Howzat! Objectors stumped as village cricket club wins permission for new ground
11:14am Friday 1st February 2013 in News
A VILLAGE cricket club has won approval for the ground move it says is vital for its survival.
Burnopfield, near Stanley, is where the legendary England batsman Colin “Basher” Milburn cut his teeth and Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram got his first taste of the English game.
It struck a deal with developer Barratts under which 56 houses will be built on the existing ground in Llac Crescent and a new ground will be built near Bowesville Despite objections from some residents the two elements if the plan have been given approval by Durham County Council’s north area planning committee.
The housing was the most contentious aspect of the project and was passed by just one vote after a proposal to reject the application was defeated.
Club treasurer Mike Small told the committee that the 140-year-old club’s facilities were deteriorating – part of the far side of the pitch had worn down to the clinker beneath the turf – and the club could not find the money to bring it up to standard.
Without better facilities it would be unable to attract players and its future existence could be threatened.
“When Barratts came along it was like manna from heaven,’’ ge said.
“We need to move to survive, it is as simple as that.”
Objectors raised concerns including flooding, the impact on wildlife, and fears that six shots could hit vehicles on the A692, but there was support for the plan from Sport England.
Local councillor Bob Alderson spoke against the plan and proposed that the plan be turned down.
But councillors heard that planning officials considered the scheme acceptable and that there had been no objections from official bodies.
Barratts representative Neil Milburn (no relation to Colin ) said the development would provide opportunities for the aspiring players of the future who might go on to reach the top level.
“For me, this is about saving Burnopfield Cricket Club.” The committee also heard that the club intended to open itself for community use.