Seventy homes planned for Sidley Sports Ground

The charred remains of the Sidley Sports and Social Club building following the fire. SUS-150331-120300001
The charred remains of the Sidley Sports and Social Club building following the fire. SUS-150331-120300001

A planning application has been submitted for up to 70 new homes on a disused sports field in Sidley.

Developers Beaulieu Homes (Southern) have applied for outline planning permission to build the homes on the former Sidley Sports Ground in Glovers Lane, together with access roads, footpaths, garages, open space and ancillary development.

However the application does not include any information about where the site will be accessed from.

The Sidley Sports and Social Club closed in April 2013 due to severe financial difficulties, leaving Sidley United Football Club and Sidley Cricket Club without a ground.

The site has stood empty ever since and has been repeatedly targeted by vandals.

The clubhouse was torched by arsonists on February 28 this year.

No one was ever arrested over the incident and no charges brought.

Business recovery and insolvency specialist Begbies Traynor completed the sale of the club on March 2 to Sustainable Land Plc.

Beaulieu Homes (Southern) wish to build a mixture of houses and flats on the site, ranging from four bedroom homes to one bedroom flats.

Of the 70 properties, the plans state that 21 of these will be affordable housing.

A number of people have already lodged objections to the plans, arguing they wanted to see the site brought back into community use.

Karen Shaw said the plans were ‘an outrage’ adding: “How can you justify putting up flats on a ground that used to be loved by so many as a community?

“It needs to be used as it used to be, somewhere for the kids and community to meet and have fun.”

Fellow objector Mr French added: “People need a safe place to let kids play etc.

“I remember hearing games there when I had an allotment at Ingram’s a few years ago, it was a happy village-like sound.”

Others claim local schools and doctors’ surgeries will struggle to cope if the plans are approved.

Rother District Council will make a decision on the application at a later date.

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