North Lincolnshire

2,000 strong petition to stop land sale rejected

Councillors have rejected a 2,000 signature petition to stop North Lincolnshire Council from selling land near Quibell Park in Scunthorpe.

A total of 2,475 people objected to the plan triggering a debate by members of the full council at the Civic Centre this afternoon.

Campaigners opposed to the proposed sale which will see the land sold off for affordable housing and asked that it remain available for community use.

The land lies south of Quibell Park stadium, which is used as an athletics track and velodrome, and is off Dartmouth Road.

Scunthorpe MP Nic Dakin backed the petition and presented it to the House of Commons in April.

He said: “Housing in Scunthorpe is an incredibly important issue, however building on Quibell Fields would be a terrible mistake.

“Not only is it a sport and playing field where local children and families in our community meet and play but I really believe that green spaces like these need to be saved.”

Petition organiser, Cheryl Hassall, making her case to North Lincolnshire Council’s full council meeting.

Local resident Cheryl Hassall presented the petition to councillors and said that the community had not been consulted on the sale.

“The field has been used for community events like armed forces events,” she said.

“I urge the council to think again of the people.”

Opposition councillors said the council was covering for delays in the Lincolnshire Lakes project and that developers would now be “chomping” for spare land.

Councillor Len Foster, leader of the Labour group on North Lincolnshire Council, said that the authority should think again about the sale.

He said: “We are all aware about the pressure on local government finances.

“But it does not prevent us from considering the environment of our community.”

Council leader, Councillor Rob Waltham, said that it is “morally right” for the authority to deliver affordable housing for its residents.

“I think its right that we meet our housing needs,” he said.

“The site will deliver much needed affordable housing.

“We need to get the best value for our assets.”

An amendment tabled by the Labour group to stop the sale of the land and for the council to recognise the site as a contingency for housing was lost by 24 votes to 14.

A motion to continue with the sale of the Dartmouth Road land was voted through by councillors.