Dozens still turn up for protest over plans for Hucknall football pitches

Despite organisers pulling the plug on a planned demonstration against proposed changes to a group of Hucknall football pitches – dozens still turned out to have their voices heard.

Monday, 19th July 2021, 5:03 pm
Protesters at the Hucknall pitches

Families, including children, took to the Papplewick Green site off Kenbrook Road in the town at 3pm on Sunday.

They carried banners saying ‘Save Our Field’ and ‘Say no to creeping development.”

The dispute is over Ashfield District Council, which owns the land, deciding to arrange a short-term management agreement with the locally-based community interest company, a non-profit organisation – Sports Gateway – which is currently based at the Rolls-Royce Leisure site in Hucknall

Families joined in the demonstration

It meant Hucknall Sports Youth Football Club, which has been running for 44 years, being moved from the pitches they use for home games.

Thousands of people signed an online petition against the plans and took to social media – and the council’s planning portal – to voice their objections.

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They have received support from Hucknall MP Mark Spencer.

But the initial protest was cancelled at the 11th hour after the council tabled a proposal that would keep Sports on their ground.

Well-known Ian Brough, who was one of those who instigated the original demonstration, said: “When I heard about this issue, I had to get involved. I have collaborated with others to spread the word and get the public behind the protest.”

But in cancelling the event, he added: "I am reliably informed that Hucknall Sports have potentially got an amicable arrangement to secure use of the playing fields and rightly so.

"Our younger generations need facilities now more than ever and once again this incredible community has come together to show support for what is good and proper. I think it is very important for our councillors to remember, we are the people that vote to put them where they are.”

However talks between all interested parties are currently at an impasse. On the back of this several locals took their stance on Sunday.

The Dispatch would like to point out that it publicised the fact the original protest had been shelved after speaking to organisers