Sports ground 'left to town in perpetuity'

SIR - I was interested to read the letter from Mrs Pam Paddon (Stand up and be counted on the Sports Ground). How I agree with her comments and, perhaps, I can throw a little more light on the situation before our council makes a move which could be regre

SIR - I was interested to read the letter from Mrs Pam Paddon (Stand up and be counted on the Sports Ground).How I agree with her comments and, perhaps, I can throw a little more light on the situation before our council makes a move which could be regretted.For some 28 years, I was employed by Bideford Gazette Ltd, owned by the Lee family, with its main office at 5 Grenville Street, Bideford.The office was also the registered address of Bideford Sports Ground Limited with regular meetings being held there under the chairmanship of the late Frederick Lee. Other members of the governing body included the well known and respected Bidefordian Jack Fulford and also a Maurice Moore.When the Sports Ground was handed over to the local authority, I always understood that it was passed to the town of Bideford IN PERPETUITY FOR SPORT.Subsequently, as rugger and football were being played on the same surface, Bideford AFC Supporters' Club built a new venue at Bank End, which, at a later date, was handed over to the rugby club and football once again returned to the Sports Ground where a first-class HQ building was erected.As a former president of Bideford AFC - a club highly respected in football circles - I feel it would be criminal to try and throw the club off the Sports Ground and, if my recollections are right, then the people of Bideford should show their extreme disapproval of any proposals to do so, which, I maintain, from memory are against the former wishes of Bideford Sports Ground Ltd.Perhaps a somewhat reduced rent to Bideford AFC would be more appropriate to attract more people to the town from visiting teams, rather than waste taxpayers' money on the move. The cattle market area could easily provide a site for affordable housing for first-time buyers.C C Prust, Appledore.


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