Hadleigh Cricket Club concerned by potential 'catastrophic' impact of housing development at former district council headquarters
A sports club has expressed concern over the “catastrophic” impact a major redevelopment on a neighbouring site could have, after planning permission was granted.
The former headquarters of Babergh District Council in Corks Lane are to be converted into homes as part of a project that will also redevelop Bridge House and a disused car park.
Following planning approval, Hadleigh Cricket Club has raised concerns over a series of unaddressed issues.
Club Chairman David Mann highlighted the dangers that the close proximity between the sports pitch and the homes could pose.
“The reality is that cricket balls are hit out of our ground on a regular basis,” he said. “While the buildings were offices, this was not a major problem for the club. When cricket was being played, the buildings were empty – the opposite will be true with this development.
“Without suitable protection measures, the implications for the cricket club are very serious – if not catastrophic.
“Our insurance premiums will increase dramatically, with the increased potential risk of injury to residents and damage to cars and properties from being hit by cricket balls.
“Then there is the prospect of litigation arising from such an incident. There have been numerous such cases around the country and the cost of a legal case would threaten the very existence of the club.”
Mr Mann says that the club asked for an increase in the 4.3-metre high fence proposed for one side of the ground, but the developers have so far refused.
Mr Mann accused the council of attempting to “wash its hands of any responsibility”, with the club consequently having to deal with the repercussions.
A council spokeswoman said: “We are continuing to work with Hadleigh Cricket Club to find the best possible solution for everyone.
“We have no wish to stop the club playing cricket and would like to continue to enjoy the good relationship we have had with the club during our many years as neighbours.”
The spokesman added that the authority would ensure safeguards are put in place to satisfy both the club and future residents.