Playing fields protected from development for a generation

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THREE playing fields in East and West Yorkshire will benefit from a £95,000 “Olympic legacy” plan which will see them protected from developers for a generation.

The three are among dozens in line for improvements and protection for at least 25 years under the Protecting Playing Fields programme, launched by Sports Minister Hugh Robertson yesterday.

The announcement was welcomed by Hull North MP Diana Johnson, who said it was a “rare and greatly appreciated bit of good news in tough economic times”.

Sports enthusiasts can look forward to playing cricket and football on Oak Road playing fields in Hull which have been unusable since the floods of 2007.

Sport England’s chairman, Richard Lewis, said: “These investments will transform the local pitches where many young people have their first experience of sport.

“With all of these playing fields safe from development for at least a generation, communities across Yorkshire can look forward to years of sporting enjoyment.”

Also in East Yorkshire, Gilberdyke and District Leisure Association has secured £30,855 to create an extra football pitch at Ings View Sports Field.

Ryburn United Junior Football Club in Sowerby Bridge has been given £33,500 to instal new drains which should stop pitches getting waterlogged during bad weather.

The club will become Queen Elizabeth II Fields after agreeing to dedicate their playing field in “perpetuity”, thanks to a partnership with Fields in Trust.

The grants including, £30,715 for the work in Hull, are funded by the National Lottery.

Coun Terry Geraghty, Hull’s portfolio holder for Leisure and Culture, said: “This is great news for Oak Road playing fields.

“This funding will see the playing fields return into a cricket ground, incorporating two full size football pitches on the outfield.

“It will make a difference to residents, clubs, teams and visitors who takes part in playing cricket, football and any other sport.”