Peterborough clubs could lose home with sports ground set to be demolished

Stamford Town v Bretton cricket at Woodlands. Andrew Hulme batting for Stamford EMN-140727-164751009

Stamford Town v Bretton cricket at Woodlands. Andrew Hulme batting for Stamford EMN-140727-164751009

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Three cricket clubs fear they could lose their home after a notice was put into demolish the Woodlands Sports Ground in Castor.

The multi-million pound leisure and social centre built for Pearl Assurance - now Phoenix Life Assurance - plays host to Cavaliers, Khalsa and Bretton cricket clubs.

Tony Buckingham, secretary for Bretton Cricket Club, said he had not heard much recently from Peterborough City Council or the Nene Park Trust which leases out the site. He said. “I found out in mid-October. I went to see the groundsman to talk about next year’s fixtures and he said we probably won’t have any.

“He said there was a proposed demolition order on a lamp post. I went back in my car to have a look at it.

“No-one seems to know exactly what’s going on. We’ve had to search for other accommodation just in case it does get demolished.

“I’m sure we will find a place but we want to stay at Woodlands. We’ve been there 16-17 years. It’s our home and the pitches are fantastic.

“This is not doing morale any good. It’s frustrating at times it really is.”

The Nene Park Trust said it did not want the centre to be demolished but that it was not its decision. A spokesperson added that the trust would work with the council and other parties to find “alternative sustainable uses for the site.”

A Peterborough City Council spokeswoman said the council is offering to help out the cricket clubs.

A spokesperson for Standard Life Investments, real estate advisor to the Phoenix Group, said cricket and tennis clubs who use the site have been told to make alternative arrangements.

The spokesperson said: “The Woodlands Sports Centre, Pearl’s former sport and social facilities in Peterborough, has been vacant and lain largely unused for over 12 year now.” It was added: “These redundant buildings and facilities generate significant annual running costs, and to minimise these outgoings the structures are to be demolished and the site returned to open fields.”