Demonstration highlights need for green space

Stotfold residents demonstrated to try and retain the one remaining green space in the town
Stotfold residents demonstrated to try and retain the one remaining green space in the town

Stotfold residents took part in a demonstration on Saturday to try to save the old Roecroft playing fields.

The council and residents have made it clear they want to keep the area, which they see as an important green space in the centre of the town.

However, Central Beds Council says it is committed to enhancing recreational facilities in the area.

Organiser of the event Pamela Manfield said: “Central Beds Council is currently using the site but we do not want to see it use this as an excuse to say it is a brownfield site and use it for housing.

“A lot of people have fond memories of the green area as they were previously school playing fields.

“The area has always had a lot of community involvement.”

The space is currently being used by Central Beds Council as a holding site for highways equipment, which includes piles of soil and rubbish.

It has promised to return the site to its previous state in the future.

A Central Bedfordshire Council spokesman said: “The former school playing field is currently being used by our highways contractor Amey to store road plaining.

“They have been granted an extension to continue using the site once work is complete then they will have to reinstate the land to its previous state.

“There has never been public access on the former school playing field.

“However, the council is committed to enhancing recreational facilities in the Stotfold area, and is releasing 24 acres of land in Arlesey Road for a new football stadium and is supporting the Stotfold Green Wheel project.”

As well as the demonstration residents have formed an informal committee and are circulating a petition.