March 13, 2023 7.00 pm This story is over 15 months old

Protest against 3G pitch plans on Louth playing field

Residents said pitch was in the wrong place

Nearly 70 people gathered to protest plans to build a 3G facility on a popular Louth playing field at the weekend.

Residents claim East Lindsey District Council’s plans to build the pitches on Wood Lane Playing Fields, next to the Meridian Leisure Centre, are in the wrong place.

The council say it would provide much-needed sports areas, but the group say it would take away public facilities and green space.

The protest on Saturday also called for improvements to Charles Street Recreational Area.

Organiser and local football manager James Timson said the event was a “positive step” towards protecting the currently public venue.

“Across the UK there are over 1,000 3G artificial football pitches, and the FA plans to fund another thousand over the next 10 years,” he said.

“They are always fenced off from the public. It doesn’t matter when they are built on school fields or industrial land as these are not green spaces and there is no right to roam.”

More than 100 residents have objected to the plans on the council’s planning portal.

Councillor Lynne Cooney was among the protesters. | Image: Supplied

Brenda and Raymond Bean, who attended the protest, said: “We have walked on this field every day since we moved to Louth in 1984.

“It is the best and most accessible green space on this side of Louth and it should never be taken away from the community.”

James said a need for football facilities had led to the “destruction of five of our eight grass football pitches over the last thirteen years” and feared more could be lost.

Objectors fear increased light and noise pollution from the site and that it would not remain free to use.

James said there are better alternatives for the 3G pitch including the London Road athletics club, part of Monks Dyke and Louth Industrial Estate.

Town Councillor Lynne Cooney said the event was “well-attended” and stressed the the importance of retaining both Wood Lane and Charles Street.

“The two green spaces have people who are passionate about their relevance and the possibilities in terms of well being and recreational benefits,” she said.

“This is our town and we should have a say. There are offers on the table regarding the Charles Street pond which have been put to ELDC and should be taken seriously.”

Residents are worried about the loss of green spaces in the town. | Image: Supplied

A Town Council meeting will discuss the matter at Sessions House, in Eastgate, at 6.45pm on Tuesday.

ELDC previously said they were “pleased” to put forward the application as part of their “continued commitment to improvement sporting and recreation facilities.”

“There is a clear demand for more modern, year-round, all-weather football and sporting facilities in Louth, and we hope that offering new pitches and training areas within the same space can help to increase access and participation and offer an enhanced place for residents of all ages to play, exercise and socialise together,” said a spokesperson.

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