Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Playing fields were bequeathed to people

THE Mapledurham Playing Fields Action Group says: "The site of Mapledurham playing fields is held in a charitable trust bequeathed by Charles Hewitt for the provision and maintenance of a recreation ground for the benefit of inhabitants of Mapledurham parish and the borough of Reading without distinction of political, religious or other purposes

THE Mapledurham Playing Fields Action Group says: "The site of Mapledurham playing fields is held in a charitable trust bequeathed by Charles Hewitt for the provision and maintenance of a recreation ground for the benefit of inhabitants of Mapledurham parish and the borough of Reading without distinction of political, religious or other purposes.



â??Mr Hewitt did not intend it to be used for any purpose other than recreation.



â??There is no guarantee that if permission to build a school is granted there will be no further developments on the playing fields.



â??We strongly object to the loss of a much-used and loved site, which is home to hundreds of football players, a thriving tennis club, dog walkers, pavilion users and families wanting to relax.â?�





The Warren and District Residentsâ?? Association says: â??Many groups, including the association, are committed to preserving the playing fields for the community.



â??While much of the area is sports facilities â?? five football pitches, the tennis club, a childrenâ??s playground and a basketball court â?? there are also areas of open space, a rough grassland area, wild flower margins, woodland, seating areas and a community orchard, which provide a home to a wide variety of mammals and birds. The open space is a haven for dog walkers and the resident conservation group, Friends of Mapledurham.



â??The site is used extensively by residents and hosts a variety of groups, including Mapledurham Lawn Tennis Club, three football clubs, the boy scouts, bridge club, toddler groups, tutor groups, private hires and corporate events.



â??Since 2010, a number of community events have taken place at the playing fields â?? car boot sales, metal recycling, Christmas fairs, reclaimed camping equipment sales, vintage car rallies and the very popular summer fete and music festival.



â??In 2007, an attempt was made to develop the playing fields. The response to a consultation was a resounding â??noâ??. More than 70 per cent of respondents did not want any development but wanted the pavilion refurbished.



â??Any development would require a variation to the trust, which would be a long and drawn-out process but, if successful, would open up the playing fields to further development.



â??There is no replacement land for any lost due to development â?? once it is gone, it is lost forever.â?�





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