Sports club ready for historic vote

The woodland area of Lytham Cricket Club's land which they are planning to sell for housing.'Main entrance.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'11-2-2014
The woodland area of Lytham Cricket Club's land which they are planning to sell for housing.'Main entrance. PIC BY ROB LOCK'11-2-2014
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Members of a historic Fylde sports club are set to vote on plans which could see part of its grounds sold to make way for housing.

Lytham Cricket and Sports Club announced earlier this year it was hoping to build a new clubhouse and changing rooms, with the scheme funded by the selling of a 1.5 acre site to a developer for housing.

But some members, as well as heritage groups opposed to the scheme, argued the club, established close to 160 years ago, is protected from development by ancient covenants.

Now members are set to vote on plans which could allow a developer the option to build homes – and fund the clubhouse project.

Cricket club director Graham Stuart said: “Subject to legalities, a developer could exercise the option to build.

“Another way forward will be put by some of the members for the meeting to consider before deciding what to do. I hoped a benefactor could come forward to help us, but it has not happened.

“It is an enormous decision, a game-changing decision.”

But Marion Coupe, of the Lytham St Annes Civic Society, said a “gradual” approach to funding would help to prevent the sale of land to developers.

She added: “The first proposals involved allowing a developer to have an option over the site to build 10 houses.

“The civic society is strongly opposed to this course of action, as we believe the cricket field would be ruined.

“We are assisting in the development of alternative plans which will involve a more gradual approach to funding.”

The cricket club was first established in 1855 by Squire Clifton of Lytham Hall.

Mrs Coupe said when the site was sold to Lytham Town Trust by Guardian Royal Exchange, special covenants were imposed, instructing the grounds should only be used to play sport.

The meeting is to take place at Lytham Cricket Club on October 24 from 7pm.