A PROPOSAL to build community facilities on a village playing field has been dropped after it was opposed by a large number of residents.

Middleton St George Parish Council had suggested using part of the playing field, on Station Road, to build a row of shops and a new medical centre as part of a wider plan to prevent unwanted development in the village.

Although the basic premise of a Neighbourhood Development Plan – which allows the village to set out accepted development until 2025 – received wide support, the proposals for the playing field met with opposition, particularly from parents.

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Following a sometimes heated consultation event, attended by 520 people, earlier this month, questionnaires completed on the day have now been analysed by the parish council, showing that two thirds of people were against building on the playing field.

Parish chairwoman Doris Jones said the site would be removed from consideration in the neighbourhood plan as the people had had their say.

She added: “The idea behind the consultation event was to give people the opportunity to voice their support or objections and this they did.

“Despite some unbecoming and aggressive behaviour from a number of individuals, the event achieved its goal and we are very happy to respond to community concerns and remove the proposal and look again at other possibilities.”

The overall need for a neighbourhood development plan - which allows the community to pinpoint where they do, and do not, want residential and business development - was supported by 82.6 per cent of respondents.

Cllr Jones said the initial idea behind the proposed plan had been to improve community facilities for the village’s existing residents and that remained the aim.

She said: “We hope that that those residents who use facilities at Morton Park and elsewhere spare a thought for the older and youngest members of our community who are less able to travel – the parish council wants Middleton St George to be for everyone who lives here”.

Consultants working with the parish council have been asked to come up with new proposals for the neighbourhood plan, not involving the playing field.

Some of the residents against the development of the playing field have asked for the land to be put into Fields in Trust to protect it from future development, which the parish council has started looking into.