Cricket club anger over Green Order

Eaton Socon Cricket Club

Eaton Socon Cricket Club land may be the subject of a public inquiry. - Credit: ESCC

Land used by Eaton Socon Cricket Club may become the subject of a public inquiry due to confusion surrounding a Green Order placed on club land.

According to Cambridgeshire County Council, the authority which processes applications for Green Orders, an application was received in December 2020 to register land known as Peppercorn Fields.

This includes the cricket club, who had already drawn up plans to buy the land. The Green Order would mean the sale could not go ahead.

In a statement, ESCC said: "We are keen to secure our future after agreeing a contract to secure the cricket club at the end of 2020.

"The club then found out, with no contact, that a Green Order had been placed over the whole area .

"This has taken up a huge aount of time and cost for the club. The cricket club has no intention apart from cricket as we have planted over 300 trees back in the autumn and have plans to improve the club for the town and surrounding villages.

Eaton Socon Cricket Club.

Eaton Socon Cricket Club. - Credit: HUNTS POST

Youth cricket is promoted at Eaton Socon Cricket Club.

Youth cricket is promoted at Eaton Socon Cricket Club. - Credit: HUNTS POST

"We have received a  huge amount  of support from local councillors, sponsors and members of ESCC and Jonathan Djanogly, MP,  who has emailed his support for cricket to remain at Peppercorns Lane ."

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St Neots town councillor Derek Giles says he made the application for the Green Order, but as a "private individual" and with support from other local residents.

He also says there was an paperwork error, but the matter is now under consultation for a second time, although he hopes a new application, which omits the cricket club, can be submitted by mid-June.

"If agreement cannot be reached then there will be a Public Inquiry, which could take many months, depending on the amount of objections." said Mr Giles.

"However, rest assured, that the amended application that I will be submitting on June 14 will not include the cricket club ground."  

Cambridgeshire County Council said in a statement: “During the public consultation it came to light that part of the application land was subject to a planning application made by the Cricket Club in 2009, which was subsequently granted and implemented.

"Under the relevant Commons Act 2006, this means that the area concerned is excluded from being able to be registered as a town or village green. However, the remaining unaffected area may still be considered."