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.”