Torrington playing field scheme protest

PARENTS are once again protesting against plans for development at the playing field at Greenbank Close, Torrington. Torridge District Council has plans to sell part of the land for the infill development of three houses, parking and a new access road. It

PARENTS are once again protesting against plans for development at the playing field at Greenbank Close, Torrington.

Torridge District Council has plans to sell part of the land for the infill development of three houses, parking and a new access road.

Its planning application includes a small part of the football field. It doesn't touch the children's play area.

But local residents, who mounted a campaign against a proposed larger development on the field eight years ago, fear more could follow.

Protester Sue Barter said that around 100 names had already been collected on a petition. Residents and schoolchildren were also being advised to write their own letters.

"We have not much time before the Torrington planning meeting on April 7," she said.

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"The plan is to put three houses at the top of the field and also to create a roadway at the front. They will say we will still have the lower part of the field. But it seems obvious that they will want to build more. The minutes of a council committee last December point to land at the bottom being kept for possible future development.

"This is a residential and industrial estate. We get lorries five days a week reversing down the road to turn into a factory. The only place the kids have to play safely is in the field. My kids grew up playing there and now my grandchildren. But if they build this my grandchildren won't be able to go there, because they will have to cross the road and I will no longer be able to see them. If the field goes the only place children will have to play ball will be in the road."

Fellow protester June Randall said residents had mounted a campaign against previous development plans in 2002 and it had since gone quiet.

"Now they want three houses at the moment, but we fear it could be more," she said. "We are concerned about losing this much needed space for the children. When council people come to look they seem to do so in the middle of the morning when the children are at school. We don't see them in the holidays. Children come here from other areas as well as Greenbank. We see them from Dartington Fields, Town Park and Kingsmead.

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