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Frustration in Kingsholm after community bid for old sports ground turned down

By The Citizen  |  Posted: April 15, 2014

The Civil Service ground near Denmark Road

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COMMUNITY leaders in Kingsholm have had an application for first refusal on the area’s neglected sports ground turned down.

The Civil Service ground near Denmark Road, which was once host to many sports clubs in the area, was sold to Redrow homes for £10,000 in 2011.

Redrow has so far not published any plans for the land, which has since gone to seed with grass growing wild and the old clubhouse flattened.

Last week a bid from 32 Kingsholm residents to give the community the right to buy the ground if Redrow decide to sell was turned down by the city council.

Di Phillips, secretary of the Kingsholm and Wotton Neighbourhood Partnership, which helped with the bid, said: “We’re very disappointed that the application was turned down and that the land is no longer used for the benefit of the wider community.

“We had a range of community groups which used the field every single weekend. It was also a good place for people to socialise.”

The city council turned down the application because it had not demonstrated the field had benefited the wider community in the recent past.

The site was used as a sports and social club with closed membership.

The residents would have had six months to raise the money the developers demanded had they been successful.

Councillor Jeremy Hilton (LD, Kingsholm) said: “The former Civil Service sports ground clearly is a community asset that we must save for sport and recreation.

“That is why I supported the community right to bid for the land.

“The rejection of this application by the Tory council is a bad decision, which we must seek to overturn.”

Paul James, leader of the city council, said: “The decision to turn down the application was completely non-political and was taken by officers. Given that Redrow own the land and are going to develop it it’s a bit of a red herring that the application was turned down- the most important decision is over when the planning application is going to be submitted.”

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  • spindles12  |  April 15 2014, 11:34AM

    Studley1975, while I wouldn't commit myself to saying what you said, I must say that £10,000 for some land that was bought by a developer is EXTREMELY cheap. Have they missed a few zeros off? At the moment there is a piece of land measuring 0.9 acres for sale in Gloucestershire, without planning permission and the asking price is £500,000 so WHO agreed a price of just £10,000? Why would a residential developer buy a piece of land without any intention, whether then or in the future, of building houses on it? I know that developers will buy land and sit on it for years but something just doesn't seem right, especially regarding to extremely cheap price. If it eventually does get built on, the developer got a very good bargain.

  • zinboya  |  April 15 2014, 11:09AM

    Why did they go to the council???, surely they should have approach the Developers, found out if they where willing to sell the site, how can the council stop them from buying the site, if the Developers where willing to give them time to raise the money.

  • Studley1975  |  April 15 2014, 10:27AM

    £10,000 Someone's On The Fiddle?

  • Matt1006  |  April 15 2014, 9:08AM

    The sale of this site to a major developer for just £10,000 stank to high heaven. The lack of activity on the site since it was closed (and clubhouse demolished) stinks. And now the Council's refusal to let a group of local residents have a chance of buying the site back reeks even more. And in the meantime the site sits there empty, closed off and unused. Redrow bought the site 3 years ago, yet haven't so far submitted any formal plans - why is that?

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