Village green effort is started by new Deepings group

Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust members at the last-ever Deepings Show in 2013 at Mill Field (Deepings Showground) in Market Deeping.  Photo by David Lowndes.  
METP-10613-DL355.
Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust members at the last-ever Deepings Show in 2013 at Mill Field (Deepings Showground) in Market Deeping. Photo by David Lowndes. METP-10613-DL355.
  • Battle to protect former Deepings Showground from future development

A campaign group has been formed to protect the former Deepings Showground from future development.

The Friends of Mill Field, made up of people who either use or have an interest in the site off Millfield Road, Market Deepings, has applied for it to have “town or village green” status.

Under planning law, if land has been used for the public to enjoy for more than 20 years, a community can apply for it to be classed in a way that would stop homes or businesses being built on it.

The group is to give more details of its plans during a public meeting tonight at Deepings Community Centre, Douglas Road, Market Deeping, at 7pm.

Pamela Steel, a Friends of Mill Field member, said: “I and many other users have been walking on the field for years, appreciating this valued countryside within walking distance of our homes.

“We are applying for the registration of the field as a Village Green because it is a valued piece of open space which has been used by people living in the Market Deeping regularly and without hindrance since the 1960s.

Mill Field has been ‘the countryside on our doorstep’ for a significant number of inhabitants of Market Deeping for well over 20 years

Pamela Steel, Friends of Mill Field Group, Market Deeping

“Some users, as would be expected, come from neighbouring villages outside Market Deeping for a wide range of activities, including jogging, dog walking, fruit picking and children’s play.

“Mill Field has been ‘the countryside on our doorstep’ for a significant number of inhabitants of Market Deeping for well over 20 years and no attempt has been made by the owner to prevent people using the land.”

The group applied to Lincolnshire County Council for Mill Field to be made a village green after it emerged that a draft of South Kesteven District Council’s (SKDC) Local Plan had identified the land as suitable for 200 new homes.

Mrs Steel said: “When SKDC held an informal consultation on its Local Plan last year, I was among nearly 100 people who opposed the housing proposals.

“But the council has ignored our comments so we have no choice but to protest in other ways.”

Coun Ashley Baxter, Independent SKDC member for Market and West Deeping, said: “Mill Field is known to many residents as the Deepings Showground because of the community-organised events that took place on the field for many years.

“I have made suggestions for other community uses for the land but these have fallen on deaf ears.

A county council spokesman said: “We have received an application for Mill Field to be registered as a village green and it is currently going through our initial checks and assessments.”