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Newark Sports Association protest at The Stadium, Elm Avenue, Newark, aims to show green space support

By Sharon Hodkin

Campaigners are calling on residents to show solidarity to their bid to protect Newark’s green spaces.

Newark Sports Association wants as many people as possible to meet outside the locked gates of The Stadium, Elm Avenue, at noon on Sunday to show support for their campaign.

Newark and Sherwood District Council has put in a planning application to build nine five and four-bedroom homes on the site.

Elm Avenue locked up (10292490)
Elm Avenue locked up (10292490)

Mr Tony Colton, chairman of the sports association, said: “This precious green space that has been used for more than a hundred years as a playing field should not be built on.

“At noon on Sunday we would like people to join us outside the locked gates of the Stadium on Elm Avenue to show that we need to protect and open up the green spaces in Newark.

“Please let others know, come along and bring your family and friends’’

Alison Doubell, who lives close to the ground and whose son plays for one of Flowserve’s junior teams, said: “We live next to the Stadium and our son plays for Flowserve, which is a short walk down the cycle track.

“However, as a growing club they don’t have enough pitches and so some of our home games have had to be played at overspill pitches created at Claypole, over four miles away.

“It’s ridiculous that local children are having to travel miles when there are perfectly good facilities on our doorstep.”

The campaign has also been backed by Mr David Smith, a former PE teacher at the Grove School.

Tidd Pratt football team (10292488)
Tidd Pratt football team (10292488)

He ran school matches on the ground for 20 years and has grandchildren who live in the area.

“The Stadium is an important part of Newark’s sporting history,” he said.

“It is more important than ever to preserve our green spaces for the children of our town.

“Our legacy to our children and grandchildren should be about open areas for play, exercise and leisure. Not more roads, buildings and congestion. Let’s keep Newark green.”

The Stadium’s facilities were bequeathed to the town by William Tidd Pratt in the 1940s.

Mr George Goode met Tidd Pratt and played in Newark Schools teams.

He said. “I played in the late 1940s early 1950s for Newark schools and I played for Barnby Road School in the Pratt Cup. Whenever we met for Town games, we always met at Tidd Pratt’s house on London Road, which is now the hospice.

“I am certain that it was always Tidd Pratt’s intention that the Stadium would be left for the benefit of young people in Newark.”

The district council has said that the disposal of the land would lead to enhancements to open spaces elsewhere in Newark.


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