Residents in Eaton Bray are being invited to a public meeting next Monday night to thrash out a way forward in the row over controversial plans to build an all-weather training pitch.
Moves to start building the pitch for EB Lions at The Rye were suddenly put on hold earlier in the year when the football club announced it intended to possibly rethink the location.
It was granted planning permission for The Rye despite fierce opposition from residents who argued that the land was an officially designated village green and should remain open to all.
Now a consultation meeting, organised by the parish council, is being held at Eaton Bray Village Hall, Church Lane, on October 21, starting at 7.30pm where the club is going to put the case forward to build the floodlit pitch at either The Rye or Holman’s Field, at the rear of School Lane Recreation Ground. Both sides will also be on hand to answer questions from the public
There had been complaints from villagers over a lack of transparency in negotiations between the parish council and the football club about The Rye scheme, something both sides refuted.
There was also concerns that football club members who lived outside the village catchment had influenced the support vote. EBPC even refers to the Lions as “our village children’s football club” despite 70 per cent of its players coming from outside the area.
This time around only Eaton Bray electors will be able to comment on the schemes to the parish council.
The club wants to build a state-of-the-art artificial pitch, enclosed by high mesh fencing to be used from 9.30am until 9.30pm weekdays, 4.30pm Saturdays and 1.30pm Sundays and bank holidays.
The club says that The Rye would regenerate an under-used area even though it’s close to homes and there’s a need for increase off street parking. Holman’s Field, already used by the club, is easily accessible, away from housing and has existing parking although it would eat into an existing match pitch and is more remote.
Anyone wanting to respond to either scheme must live in the village catchment and get their views to EBPC before October 25.