RESIDENTS have demanded a council protects a popular playing field - or offer a replacement if it has to be developed for new jobs.

Cressex residents urged Wycombe District Council to safeguard Buckmaster Playing Fields at a heated public meeting last week.

Cllr Brian Pearce has called for the authority to designate and provide a suitable replacement if the green space, which he has described as a breathing space for Cressex residents, is turned into an employment site.

He said: “The WDC hierarchy left the meeting in no doubt residents are very concerned and emotional about this field - they don’t want to lose it.

“But if it has to go, we must have something back in its place. We want another open space for people to enjoy in Cressex, not further away.”

More than 500 people signed a petition which was handed to the council’s leader Cllr Richard Scott at Full Council last month.

The petition and subsequent public meeting has secured a short debate about the future of the playing fields at Monday’s Full Council meeting.

Cllr Pearce said: “That’s the next step, to discuss the issues with my colleagues at the meeting. I am also hoping to speak to officers and the hierarchy to see if [development] was decided, if I could be involved.

“There are a lot of concerns about development in Cressex and about roads, traffic etc so I would like to have a say on it on behalf of residents.”

The field off Barry Close has been earmarked as an option for a potential business park under WDC’s Local Plan, which will set out where houses and employment space will be built between now and 2031.

WDC’s 11 week public consultation on the plan closed on Monday.