More sporting facilities for Dunmow?

A DEVELOPER has been urged to contact Dunmow’s sports clubs as the town bids to fill its “desperate shortage” of facilities.

Barratt Homes is asking for views on an 850-home development to the west of Dunmow, near Tesco, before putting in a formal application.

Among the proposed community benefits is a pledge to improve the town’s sport provision.

Representatives met the town council’s planning committee last Thursday to update members on the firm’s plans. And they left with a brief to find out what sports facilities the community wants and needs.

Mayor Cllr John Davey told the Broadcast: “We’re desperately short of sporting facilities.

“Dunmow Rhodes, based at the Recreation Ground, is running out of space as the club expands.

“The same goes for the cricket club, which has a lovely little ground on Braintree Road but could do with enough room for more than one game to be played at a time.

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“We have also advised Barratt Homes to approach the other sports clubs, including tennis.

“The development could bring other sports back to the town, such as rugby although there hasn’t been a call for it yet.

“An all-weather pitch hasn’t been mentioned, either, but it is something I would like to see because hockey players have to travel to Saffron Walden, Braintree or Felsted. It would be nice if they could stay in the town.”

Cllr Davey raised concerns about access issues that could crop up at any potential new sporting venue, saying the council would have to be “comfortable” that families were safe. But he did urge residents and sports clubs to ask Barratt for the sports facilities it needs.

Other additions to the plans Barratt put forward in its presentation to the council was provision for a new primary school, health centre, play areas and a “significant” new sewerage infrastructure to accompany the housing.

District councillor for Dunmow South, Keith Mackman, said the scheme would help to meet Uttlesford’s five-year housing supply deficit.

“This is one of the best proposals I have seen for a while,” he said after the meeting, adding that he expected Barratt to submit a formal application in the spring.

“I think it will absorb Woodlands Park better into the town and if facilities are put towards the eastern side of Woodlands Park it will benefit the town.”

A Barratt Homes spokesman said: “The council has invited us to submit a planning application but suggested we canvass the local sports clubs first.

“We know there are tennis, cricket and football clubs but there is potential for a lot more. We want to talk to the local clubs.”

Clubs can contact Barratt Homes on or call the town council on 01371 872406.