Calls for compromise over homes plan on former Reckitts recreation ground
A LONG-STANDING amateur rugby league administrator has called for common sense to prevail over a controversial housing development in east Hull.
Detailed plans for the scheme on the former Reckitts recreation ground in Chamberlain Road were rejected by councillors earlier his week.
As well as 112 new homes, the scheme also includes four new sports pitches and a changing room complex.
The principle of building houses on the derelict sports ground was established last year when a government planning inspector granted an appeal by Barratt Homes against an earlier decision by councillors to refuse planning permission.
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The inspector's decision dismayed local campaigners who had collected a 3,000-name petition against the idea.
But Alan Parker, secretary of the Hull and District Open Age Amateur Rugby League Association, said it was time to bury the hatchet over the issue.
He spoke in favour of the detailed planning application earlier this week and claimed there was no point in creating further delays.
He said: "I can sympathise with the residents, but the case for the development has been proved and we have to move on.
"I would like to see a bit a common sense over this.
"We should be getting on with the job of getting this development off the ground."
Mr Parker has been involved with amateur rugby league administration in Hull for 48 years.
He said: "I can remember when Reckitts was the best sports ground in the city.
"Sadly, those days have gone and we have to accept that and move on.
"The scheme being put forward here will provide four new pitches – two full-sized pitches and two junior ones – and it's up to us to get the best out of the site for all concerned.
"That includes the sports clubs who will use it and the residents who live nearby.
"We are very short of top-quality pitches in the city.
"Many of them used to be provided by companies but they have either disappeared over the years or decided to cut back.
"This offers the chance for some excellent new facilities and I just wish there was some way forward."
Under the plans, Hull FC will eventually own and operate the sports facilities.
No one from the club attended this week's committee meeting but Barratt Homes spokesman Matthew Watts confirmed his company was spending £660,000 on the new sports facilities.
He said the rugby pitches would provide a "huge benefit" for the city and claimed the homes were badly needed.
But councillors echoed concerns raised by residents over the size of the proposed car park at the new-look sports ground as well as an access route for emergency vehicles through a neighbouring housing estate.
Sergi Singh, who runs a convenience store in Chamberlain Road, said residents living near the site were concerned about parking congestion on match days and a lack of community facilities for people who would eventually live in the new houses.
"We want a better deal on what is being offered at the moment," he said.
Councillor Adam Williams, who represents the area, said there were still genuine concerns over potential traffic congestion and parking problems.
Councillor Terry Keal also questioned why there were no children's play facilities or parking turn spaces included in the layout of the new housing estate.