Below is a letter from Roger Devy of the Churchill Playing Fields Action Group, which I’ve reproduced in full, along with the pitch layout plans referred to in the letter. It was written as an open letter to local councillors and Oldham Council. To make the diagrams larger, simply click on them.
If you want to respond to the points made in the letter, you can either leave a comment below this post, or send an e-mail by clicking on the Contact option at the top of this page. If you would like an e-mail published on this website then please mark it as a letter to the editor, and I’ll be happy to do so.
Past Saddleworth News articles and letters about Churchill Fields can be found here.
IT IS CONTINUALLY STATED by the councillors and council officers who are in favour of the proposed drainage scheme for Churchill Playing Fields that a fourth additional adult football/rugby pitch is required at Churchill to sustain the current level of use and ensure the facility can cope with growth in demand.
It is also their belief that a four pitch layout could not be achieved without the removal of the existing cinder running track.
This view has been voiced by Cllr Beeley and others at meetings of the Saddleworth Parish Council, Saddleworth and Lees District Partnership, by council officers involved in the project, and at the open meeting at Uppermill Civic Hall on 1 March 2011.
Typical examples of these views were contained in letters of support for the proposals received from Cllr Stretton, the RFL and Lisa Macdonald.
Cllr Jean Stretton, 29 June 2011: “I have been advised that it is not possible to retain the cinder track at the same time as achieving four adult size pitches.”
Carol Doran at the RFL, 8 July 2011: “We have been informed that unfortunately it will not be possible to accommodate the proposal to develop a further adult pitch whilst retaining the running track.”
Lisa Macdonald, 5 August 2011: “It is not possible to provide four adult pitches – without removing the track.”
However, it should be noted the opinion that a four adult pitch layout at Churchill will require the removal of the existing cinder track is incorrect. The Churchill Playing Fields Action Group through myself and others have pointed out on many occasions that a four adult pitch layout of the pitch sizes required can easily be achieved at the Churchill facility whilst retaining the existing track.
To illustrate this pitch layout I have attached two plans of the Churchill site. The first plan, Churchill Plan A, shows the “provisional four adult pitch layout – removing track” as outlined at the open meeting at the Civic Hall on 1 March 2011. This plan outlined by Cllr Beeley and others at the open meeting clearly indicated the sizes of the pitches required.
The second plan, Churchill Plan B, shows the “alternative four adult pitch layout – retaining track.” On each plan the number of adult pitches (four) and the size of each adult pitch is exactly the same. You will clearly see from the evidence that the four adult pitch layout can adequately be achieved without the removal of the existing cinder running track and the drainage proposals should be advanced on this basis.
Churchill Playing Fields Action Group