New Mills FC left stunned as council veto Ollersett Fields redevelopment

Ollersett Fields
Ollersett Fields

New Mills FC chairman Ray Coverley has expressed his dismay and frustration at the town council’s decision to veto a planned redevelopment of Ollersett Fields.

A new and exciting facility had been proposed for the site, which included 3G pitches and facilities for not only New Mills FC to use but also junior and girls teams from across the town.

However, despite the pitches at Ollersett Fields currently being in a poor condition, New Mills Town Council decided at a meeting last week to turn down the proposals.

Coverley said: “The council say that the new facilities will have no real benefit to the community, only to New Mills FC itself, which is staggering really given it’s an entirely community-based proposal and designed to benefit everyone.

“We’ve been putting the plans together for a long time now with developers Morbaine and this would have cost the council nothing given Morbaine would have organised all of the public consultations and so on, but we’ve not even been allowed to get to that stage.

“It’s been a very sudden end to quite a drawn out process and we’re desperately disappointed, as are our junior coaches and players as they currently don’t have anywhere suitable to play regularly.

“It’s a huge setback. I could understand if consultations had taken place and there were suitable enough objections to it all, but it has been nipped in the bud before the plans had been made fully public.”

Morbaine had also put accompanying plans in place to develop the playing fields at Quarry Road, currently used by school teams but which are also in a poor condition.

Coverley added: “Everything we had planned was with a view to improving current facilities to provide a fantastic community resource and yet the council have, for some reason, not seen that and dismissed it out of hand.

“Everything was being financed and literally the only thing the council had to do was give us the OK to do it. We’ve had widespread support from across the town for what we wanted to do.

“I’ve been involved with this club for 30 years and wanted this development to be my legacy so I’m very frustrated at the way this has happened.

“Both sites are going to rack and ruin and it’s such a huge waste when you consider both what could be put in place instead and just how many people will benefit. I can’t understand how the council believe the community won’t reap the rewards.

“Our only option now would seem to be developing our current home at Church Lane but we have limited space there and the end result wouldn’t be as useful.”

Coverley added that a petition may now be started to encourage the council to look again at the plans.

The Town Council have been approached by the Advertiser for comment.