Readers react over ‘field of dreams’ sale

Local residents angry about the proposal to sell off land at Newbottle playing fields

Local residents angry about the proposal to sell off land at Newbottle playing fields

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Residents have reacted angrily online to the news that Sunderland City Council is looking to sell off their ‘field of dreams.’

Earlier this week Sunderland City Council announced that intends to dispose of land north of Blind Lane, near Sunniside, close to Newbottle Primary School, known locally as the ‘field of dreams.’

The announcement was made in the way of a public notice in the Echo on Monday which has caused outrage with residents living nearby, who say it is well used for play by youngsters and families as well as junior football teams.

At a meeting on Wednesday, residents voiced their concerns, with many fearing that the sale of the land could block access when taking their children to school, as well as taking away a well used field which provides a safe place to play.

Residents were also meeting on the playing field today to hand out objection letters to residents and inform them on the proposal.

Posting on our website - sunderlandecho.com - user Nowt Changes said: “This is absolutely disgusting from Sunderland Council. 
“The notice date, June 27, was posted in the Echo on the July 4, and said all objections had to be in by the July 11, by 4pm in writing.

“This has only given residents and parents a week to get organised and lodge objections.” 
Old Houghtonian wrote: “This land was given to the residents as a recreational field.”
However Trish Render Laverick disagreed and posted on Facebook: “We have a national shortage of homes and people are kicking off about building on green land. Where are they supposed to build?”

Although a public notice has been issued, council chiefs say nothing has been decided yet about what will happen to the land.

Written objections must be sent to the council before 4pm on Monday. Many residents at the meeting signed letters to be submitted to the council before the deadline.

In a statement councillor Mel Speding, Sunderland City Council Cabinet Secretary, said public notices are published as part of the legal process of public consultation, and assured residents that all of their views and opinions generated as a result will be carefully considered before reaching that decision .

Coun Speding said: “Sunderland City Council values all ‘open space’ land, and does everything it can to protect that land balanced against the future planning and development needs of the city.”