ROWLEY Fields should be used for recreation and community events.
That is the message to Stratford Town Trust which launched a survey of members to gather opinions on what to do with the area afterabandoning controversial plans to sell off an eight acre parcel of land for housing after a public outcry. Other suggestions included using the area for agriculture, as a nature reserve and for education purposes.
In total around a third of the trust’s 1,800 plus members made their thoughts known in the survey, and the trustees will make their final decision just before Christmas.
Views were also sought on the future of 7 Benson Road – which the trust purchased for £500,000 in 2014 . Earlier this year Stratford District Council rejected a planning application to demolish the house and build up to five homes.
Responding to the survey, three-quarters of members rejected a possible appeal again the planning refusal, and half said the trust should simply keep the house and rent it out.
Most members also said the parcel of land which had been earmarked as part of the development plans should simply be treated as part of Rowley Fields.
Trust chief executive Justin Williams said: “The response to this survey has been fantastic and we thank all of our existing members who took part and we also welcome those new members that have joined as part of this process.
“These results will now be used by the board of trustees to inform its decision- making in relation to Benson Road and to Rowley Fields and we will publish that decision on December 22.
“The town trust is a community charity – existing to benefit the people of Stratford, distributing more than £25 million since 2001.
“As such, involving and engaging the community is a key priority and we look forward to launching a broader community survey in the New Year, to inform the development of community-centric strategy for the town trust.”
Roger Holbeche from campaign group Rowley Fields Forever said they were happy with the consultation but they still wanted the land to remain untouched.