A CONTROVERSIAL planning application that threatened to divide two sports communities, potentially leaving one with ‘nowhere to train’, has been withdrawn.

Planning officers for the Wycombe area at Buckinghamshire Council wrote to Hazlemere Croquet Club formally acknowledging the withdrawal, adding “no further action” would be taken on the matter.

The croquet club submitted designs for Hazlemere Recreation Ground which included three additional croquet lawns and as many new shelters, new floodlighting, walls and fencing, and alterations to its entrance as part of wider plans for a “centre of excellence”.

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Parents of players from the neighbouring Holy Trinity Juniors Football Club expressed outrage over the proposal, claiming it would encroach “onto their pitches” and impact the club’s ability to train “off-pitch”.

Holy Trinity chairman Drew Wotherspoon also claimed there had been no “meaningful consultation” with the football club – and that a version of plans it saw were “out of date”.

Questions also arose about the need for an expansion given the croquet club’s membership.

“Looking at the number of pitches they wish to add, it will take around 30 years to increase their membership to the levels needed to fill their proposed space,” said Mr Wotherspoon.

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The football club has used “The Rec” for nearly 30 years and has more than 250 youngsters under its wing.

Cllr Lesley Clarke said before she was “saddened” by Mr Wotherspoon’s objection.

A letter was sent to Mr Richard Pepperell at the croquet club informing him of the retracted application.

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