Mark Spencer, Member of Parliament for Hucknall and Sherwood has spoken about the significance of Sports England’s objection to the planning application submitted for Football Pitches off of Papplewick Green.
Sports England, a non profit, non departmental public body, has objected to the planning application saying that the application is “not considered to accord with any of the exceptions to Sport Englands Playing Fields Policy”
Sport England acts as the statutory consultee on planning applications relating to playing fields.
In their objection, Sports England state that the plans do not meet any of their exemptions relating to building on playing fields. Furthermore, Sports England state that the Football Foundation on behalf of the Football Association and Nottinghamshire County Football Association also share their concerns.
Sports England wrote that “Therefore insufficient evidence has so far been provided to fully understand if the benefits of the AGP [Artificial Grass Pitch] are sufficient to outweigh the loss natural turf playing field.
Speaking about Sport England’s intervention, Mark Spencer, Member of Parliament for Hucknall and Sherwood said that:
“In my eleven years as a Member of Parliament, I have never seen Sports England object to more sports facilities.
“Sports England’s objection is extremely significant, and tells us a lot about the state of the application.
“Sports England have clearly recognised the existing value of the fields, and how that by approving this application – the council would be stealing a precious resource from the community.
“I know many people across Hucknall are yet to be convinced of the value of this application – and there are many questions that still have not been answered.
“Before this appears before the Planning Committee, we need to see the full commercial agreements that are going to be put in place. We also need to see any correspondence between The Ashfield Independents, their Councillors, Ashfield District Council and the applicant on this matter. There are frankly far too many questions that have not been answered.
“There are real questions about the legitimacy of the application. Residents deserve to know whether their Council is being run as a cartel for friends of the Leadership.