Fight for field

Moor Lane residents have united in a bid to prevent housing being built on a play field owned by Scarborough Borough Council.. Picture by Dave Kettlewell. 113046
Moor Lane residents have united in a bid to prevent housing being built on a play field owned by Scarborough Borough Council.. Picture by Dave Kettlewell. 113046

RESIDENTS of a Newby suburb are furious at council plans to sell off a popular playing field next to their homes.

Families from Moor Lane and Linden Road have hit back at Scarborough Borough Councils plans to sell off the bottom half of Moore Lane Field in order to build 48 houses on the land.

Now residents are so concerned that the field will be sold off, they have formed a group in order to oppose the plans.

Lyn Johnson, from Moor lane, is one of the people behind the group, and she says that the local response has been “overwhelming”.

“When we set up the group, we arranged an informal meeting at the local pub, which we expected about half a dozen people to turn up. In the end there was about 50 people there.

“Everybody who lives around here is disgusted. In some cases, three or four generations of families have grew up playing on that field and the council are just going to get rid of it for more houses they really don’t need.”

Another member of the group, Hazel Bassett, has even set up a ‘Save Moore Lane Field’ Facebook page to help drum up support for their campaign. In its first week alone it’s already received the backing of thirty people, and Hazel believes that it’s not just locals supporting the cause.

“The area is one of the most popular in Scarborough for kids to play in or walk their dog, and in the winter people come from all over to sledge.

“The BBC even named it one of the top sledging locations in the whole of Yorkshire.

“What I’m worried about though is that some people wont realise what’s been lost until they turn up in the winter to sledge and it’s been taken away from them for good.”

Councillors voted six to three in favour of selling the land in principal at a meeting held on July 19, despite nine letters of objection and a petition signed by 151 residents objecting to the proposed sale.

Negotiations over the sale of the 2.7 acre field are already under way, with two companies believed to be in the running for the land.

Provisions for the sale include the fields troublesome drainage being fixed, as historically the site is prone to flooding.

However, local parish councillor Stuart Gething, who lives on Linden Road is convinced that even if the land is sold, the flooding problem wont go away.

“When we’ve had bad flooding in the past, Yorkshire Water have attempted to fix it, but they’ve said that it’s just not possible.

“My worry is that it’ll be sold regardless, and then when it does inevitably flood, it’ll cause even greater damage.”

The Evening News tried to contact the Forward Planning department for comment, but nobody was immediately available.

Cllr Jane Kenyon noted at the meeting that there was a long process ahead and there may be other options for the residents to seek to protect the area.

She also said that the agreement to sell the land in principal was just the start of that process, and that it may or may not result in development on that land.

Residents will be holding a further meeting this Tuesday to discuss their next steps, and the group will be holding a public meeting in the near future, however final details are yet to be confirmed.