This Day In 1981 - Plans For Three Playing Fields Given Go-Ahead


21st October 2011

People in three local communities are to have their own playing fields – thanks to West Dorset District Council.

The council’s Recreation and Amenities Committee have set aside £102,000 in their capital program to purchase playing fields at Maiden Newton and Cattistock and to prepare and level a piece of derelict land to make a playing field at Crossways.

The land at Maiden Newton and Cattistock, which had been used for recreational purposes by villagers, was under threat as a result of Dorset County Council’s decision to sell.


At Crossways the committee were endeavouring to remedy quite a different problem. There, the mushrooming new community which has sprung up has no parish council, no school, no recreation ground and few facilities.

But steps are now being taken to make it a new parish. Herculean efforts have been made by residents to create an attractive focus for community spirit in the village hall, and the district council are to lend a hand by providing a playing area from a 4.28 acre derelict site.

It will cost £40,000 and Mr Tony Frost asked whether it would not be cheaper to buy a field instead of spending such a large sum on draining and levelling.


But the council’s Chief Executive, Mr Denis Cudworth, pointed out that the site had been identified in the Crossways Plan, to which the council were a party, as a playing field which would serve the locality.

There were other fields but their availability was in some doubt.

A considerable amount of work had been undertaken by the local community at Crossways to help themselves, he stressed.

The district council were actively pursuing the aim of getting a separate parish council for Crossways and within the next 12 months it was hoped that it would emerge with an identity as a parish.

Anything the council could do to pave the way for a future for Crossways he felt they should do.

Large figure

Mr Frost said he did not disagree with a word of what Mr Cudworth had said, but £40,000 was a large figure for just over four acres.

He felt they ought to be able to buy a level field for something like £12,000.
Mr Cudworth replied that this was derelict land and so its reclamation was likely to attract a 50 per cent government grant.

He felt it would be a very good solution to get rid of an eyesore in the shape of a piece of derelict land and at the same time to provide a recreational area without encroaching into good agricultural land. The land had been acquired for virtually nothing.

Young people

Commented the council’s vice-chairman, Mr Ernest King: “We put the houses there at Crossways. It is up to us to make sure that there is space for the young people.”

The Treasurer, Mr Brian Chant, said that £50,000 had been included in the capital program for the acquisition of the playing field at Maiden Newton and £12,500 for the field at Cattistock.

There was a possibility of recovering some of the cost the field at Maiden Newton by selling off part of it as housing plots.

Mr Chant said they would be looking to the parish councils for contributions towards the loan charges. The parishes would also take over the running of the playing fields.

[From the Dorset Echo 21-10-1981]

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