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Diss fence plan just not cricket

PUBLISHED: 15:24 10 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:45 12 July 2010

Residents opposing plans to fence off a town cricket ground have formed an action group to fight the proposal.

The Rectory Meadow site is one of the few remaining areas of open space in Diss.

Residents opposing plans to fence off a town cricket ground have formed an action group to fight the proposal.

The Rectory Meadow site is one of the few remaining areas of open space in Diss. A former school playing field, it has been used over the years for local gymkhanas, informal sports activities and as a pleasant place to walk the dog.

Now the town council, which leases the site to Diss Cricket Club, has sparked criticism by backing its plan to put up a new 6ft high perimeter fence in a bid to combat vandalism.

This has angered local objectors who have attended public meetings in recent months to voice their concerns, also launching a protest petition that has amassed 500 signatures.

Evan Heasley, whose home in Skelton Road overlooks the site, is the Rectory Meadow Action Group's spokesman.

“What we are doing is basically to try and fight the proposal and our problem has been how the town council has handled the whole issue. We feel they are elected to represent us and they don't really listen to what we put forward. We are quite frustrated by the process,” he said.

“There are not many open spaces in Diss and this fence, which will have one gate - left open, is going to be an eyesore. Our main concern is we are going to see this attractive field destroyed. It will make it a club for the elite and not the people of Diss.”

Town mayor Simon Olander said the cricket ground has been targeted by vandals for several years, and has also been used for fly tipping.

“The only people who have come up with a viable proposal is the cricket club who have asked to put up 6ft fencing around the perimeter, replacing existing fence which is probably past its sell by date. We are disappointed as they are (the objectors) that there is not any other alternative, and the town council isn't just giving carte blanche to the cricket club.

“We want it done sympathetically, and they have come up with designs that the town clerk doesn't think are suitable. We are trying to find something that will enhance the meadow and provide a solution.”

Mr Olander said one section of new fencing would cross the south side of the meadow, running beside an existing footpath giving access between Skelton Road and the Entry which would be unaffected.


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