Cricket club protected space appeal rejected

A BID to protect Battle’s cricket ground for future generations has been blocked by the council.

Battle Cricket Club, which leases the land at George Meadow from Battle Town Council, wanted to apply to protect the space as part of the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge.

Operated by Fields in Trust, the Challenge is a campaign to protect 2012 outdoor recreation spaces in communities across the country.

The Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge will give communities an opportunity to vote for an outdoor space in their area to become part of the scheme and be permanently protected as a tribute to the Diamond Jubilee.

But councillors vetoed the idea at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

Councillors feared that if George Meadow was given the protected status, if Battle Cricket Club ever moved to another ground, the council would be left with a piece of land which could only be used for sports activities.

Cllr Ron Harris said: “The down side of granting this status is that for now and forever that field would be dedicated to sporting status.

“We would be committing a part of our prime estate to a dedicated purpose, which may not be the best thing to do.”

Cllr Bye agreed, adding: “I personally think it would not be a wise move.”

Town clerk Peter Mills said: “The reason the club have come to us is they want to be able to apply for grants they otherwise would not be entitled to.”

But the majority of councillors voted against the proposal.

Battle Cricket Club is just a few years into its lease, with 93 years left.

The club runs two sides on Saturdays in the East Sussex Cricket League and also has a midweek XI, which plays 20 overs-a-side matches in the local T20 Cup in May and June.

Battle Cricket Club also has an active junior section with two regular sides.