Reports are coming in that the York Council is in private discussions about leasing off the Chesneys Field amenity area,
It is claimed that they hope to re-home the Woodthorpe Wanderers football team there when they evict that organisation as part of a controversial plan to build on the sports pitches at Lowfields.
Hitherto, it had been understood that any plans to build on the Lowfields playing field would be subject to the provision of additional sports pitches elsewhere in the area.
However, as the pitches at Chesneys Field have been rented out on a seasonal basis for over 25 years, to both football and rugby teams, it seems unlikely that site would meet the criteria set by bodies such as Sport England and the National Playing Fields Association.
Any attempt to limit public access to Chesneys Field is likely to be strongly resisted by residents.
The Foxwood Residents Association has invested heavily in the field. It is the only substantial area of publicly accessible open space available since railings were erected by the Rugby Club around the adjacent Thanet Road sports area.
Chesney’s Field Interpretation board unveiled last year
Following the upgrade made to the play equipment on Chesneys Field, residents have supervised tree and bulb planting, the installation of seats and an interpretation board. Litter is regularly cleared from the area by volunteers.
The investment made to improve the area has mainly been through residents own fundraising activities and co-operation with partners
The amenity area is generally well used against a background of under-provision of green space and play facilities in much of the Westfield area.
The issue is likely to be raised at a meeting of the Foxwood Residents Association which is taking place on Wednesday.
NB: We also understand that the Rugby Club may seek to revive the idea of erecting a stand and other facilities next to one of their pitches on the other side of the road. Residents will be watching any such proposal carefully and will insist on compensatory, publicly accessible, amenity land being made available if any is lost through development on the Thanet Road area.