Given all the sound bites that government uses to say how unhealthy, obese and unfit for life many people are today it is very surprising how one Local Authority can leave three school playing fields, previously owned by the Local Education Authority, unused for nearly 20 years.
Since 2005 BTC have tried to gain access to this field to extend the number of pitches it maintains to add over 500 extra football places for boys and girls of all ages.
Leaving these fields unused allowed all sorts of anti social behaviour to take place; including using the land for Trials Bikes, dog fouling and finally occupation by Travellers. Travellers in the field next door caused BTC Sports Club to cancel all football for three months, whilst a clear up operation took place, and resulted in Ford moving their 100th year in Southampton celebration with a sizeable loss of income for the Club.
During this time we have had correspondence with the land owners, Hampshire County Council, which identifies all the reasons why these fields cannot be used as football pitches. BTC have shown that these reasons are not valid and that the cost of reinstating these as playing fields is not expensive.
So during the summer in 2010 BTC took the decision to prove Hampshire County Council wrong and against their wishes accessed the playing field and reinstated one pitch at no cost to the Tax Payer. Many games were played on this pitch and we had many local people say how good it was to see these facilities being used.
So it was with heavy heart that in April 2011 BTC stopped using this field as Hampshire County Council threatened legal action for Trespass. Even the Council Leader wrote to say how BTC were not only in the wrong but this action would be seen as a reason NOT to consider any future application favourably.
Within weeks of leaving this field unused the inevitable happened. Travellers occupied the site and after 6 weeks their 30 caravans and lorries had created an estimated £30,000 worth of cleanup expenses.
Please help BTC use these fields for Sport as part of Strategic Green Gap between Southampton and Eastleigh and sign our petition.