Anger over plans to use community fields for allotments

Gordon McCullyin Industry News

A bitter row has erupted in a Lancashire village over plans to use a community field for allotments. Some residents in Heskin, near Chorley, are furious about the proposal from the village's parish council.

They claim Heskin Parish Council has broken its promise to both them and the Fields in Trust organisation by now going ahead to use part of the Town Lane field for 16 allotments.

Objectors say the parish council needs permission from the Fields in Trust to change the use of the field.

The land is currently listed as a public playing field and recreational ground, which they want to keep.

The parish council has just submitted a planning application to Chorley Council for the construction of pathways and sheds so that part of the land can be used for the allotments. The application also includes a proposal for a 1.2m high post and wire fencing.

A spokesperson for the parish council said: "An application has gone to Chorley Council. The caveats are that it gets planning permission, Fields in Trust give permission and funding is made available."

One resident in favour, who asked not to be named, said: "It allows people to grow their own, it saves them money, children can see how things grow, people who are socially isolated can meet others there and there's a joy in growing your own."Fields in Trust were founded in 1925 as the National Playing Fields Association to ensure everyone has access to free, local outdoor space for sport, play and recreation.

A spokesman said: "The issue has been considered by the Fields in Trust land and planning committee and a report will be sent to the town council with the findings of the Fields in Trust review."

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