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Anger over car park plans

PUBLISHED: 05:34 01 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:13 24 February 2010

VILLAGERS in Constable Country are up in arms over plans to build a car park on a village green.

Dedham Sports Club wants to extend its ten-space car park on playing fields in the heart of the village, and add a 3m by 20m strip onto the current area of hardstanding.

VILLAGERS in Constable Country are up in arms over plans to build a car park on a village green.

Dedham Sports Club wants to extend its ten-space car park on playing fields in the heart of the village, and add a 3m by 20m strip onto the current area of hardstanding.

This will almost double the number of car parking spaces.

The club's sportsfields, used for cricket and football, are on the village green where there is also a playground.

A dirt track, called The Drift at one end and Southfields at the other, dissects the playing fields, giving access to a few cottages. On match days cars overflow from the car park onto the track.

John Osborn, of Dedham Parish Council and who is also a member of the sports club, said: "It's a sensible plan. It takes account of everybody's wishes. There obviously will be some people who will be somewhat unhappy about it.

"There will be some positive benefit for everybody.

"In my view The Drift will be free of parked cars at all times and that's something that I'm sure will be welcomed by everybody," he added.

But many villagers are unhappy with the plan.

Ruth Davis, a mother-of-three, said: "I'm fervently against it because I think it would be tragic for the area. It looks very beautiful at the moment and to have cars parking along the green would be very, very sad for such a beautiful village.

"I think it would be very dangerous. There's lots of children running over there. A lot of people park up there. It's really dangerous. When there are lots of cars parked there how will ambulances get down there?

"I can't imagine why footballers can't walk a little way."

She added: "In the main we have chosen to live in a beautiful village. They want to turn the village green into a car park. Once we start it's not going to stop."

Villager Michael Archer, first arranged a public meeting about the issue last year, when he leafleted the village. He said he and other residents have written to Colchester Borough Council to object to the plans which are due to be discussed by the planning committee in the next few weeks.

Mr Archer said: "The main village car park is five minutes away – I did it with a heavy bag in my hand, timing it myself. There are places to park closer on the street and in the square. As far as we were concerned it came as rather a shock when this was being proposed."


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