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Controversial proposal to build at former sports club grounds in Risborough
A CONTROVERSIAL former sports ground in Monks Risborough has been earmarked for a development of 90 homes.
The Molins Sports Ground in Mill Lane has been empty since the sports and social club at the site was evicted by Molins PLC in 2007.
Campaigners fought long and hard to buy the sports ground for the community but started to give up hope in 2012 when a bid to buy the land was rejected.
Now, a chartered surveyors and town planners called Wilks Head and Eve are working on behalf of Molins PLC to put forward a proposed development called The Haven.
They are holding a community meeting at Monks Risborough Primary School next Thursday for members of the public to express their views on the idea to build 90 mixed tenure houses and apartments, which would also include sporting facilities- tennis and netball courts and a five and 11-a-side football pitch, as well as a pavilion and parking area, together with a cycle track.
Mike Payne, who campaigned to keep the former club at the site, said: "It just makes me so angry.
"It wasn't that long ago the council was saying they couldn't build on it for at least 25 to 30 years because it is Green Belt land and in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
"Both things apply to that area of land."
No plans have been submitted as yet but proposals suggest improvements to the existing nearby road junction between Mill Lane and Crowbrook Road, to help accommodate increased traffic.
Town councillor, Gary Hall, said: "The feeling is very much against. Desmond Molin built the facility for the benefit of his workers and it has been around for decades and was very popular before it closed to angry protests.
"People want to see it re-opened and not built upon. There has been some false hope spread around that if Molins were built upon then the unprotected land on the other side of the railway needn't be, this is nonsense as Molins is AONB and Green Belt and any relaxation of planning designation would need to be granted by a government inspector who would not allow it when there is unprotected land available to build on."
A new drainage system would also be included to protect against localised flooding.
The planners said: "We believe the proposal for The Haven to be an excellent opportunity to provide much-needed new homes for Monks Risborough and bring with it an increased vitality to the community."
The meeting is on Thursday, May 29 from 12 to 2.30 and 6 to 8pm at Monks Risborough Primary School, Princes Risborough.
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