Persimmon bosses are urged to act over Lime Avenue

PUBLISHED: 12:54 16 November 2020

Young footballers need the two Persimmon pitches

Young footballers need the two Persimmon pitches

Saffron Walden Community FC

Senior Persimmon staff have been urged to honour their commitments over two football pitches at Lime Avenue.

The housebuilder had promised action “within weeks” in September.

Saffron Walden Town Council, working in partnership with Uttlesford District Council and the community football club, has asked Persimmon’s chairman, group chief executive, all directors and non-executive directors to get involved and resolve the situation.

Their letter has pointed out the financial cost to comply with the building agreement - around £100,000 - is considerably less than half the cost of an average new home on the development.

Matt Clare, secretary of Saffron Walden Community Football Club, told a meeting of Saffron Walden Town Council that the lack of progress was very disappointing.

“The only meaningful response in two months has been to send a lease that’s not fit for purpose.”

He added: “It is immensely frustrating that we have to cancel football when there are two pitches standing there.”

Saffron Walden Community Football Club provides football training within the town for over 700 children and there is a desperate shortage of available football space.

The meeting heard the town council has spent thousands of hours trying to resolve the situation.

Mayor Heather Asker said: “It has not been for the want of trying, over a vast amount of time.”

The agreement was the developer would build and hand over two full sized foootball pitches, temporary changing facilities including toilets and showers. This should have been done in 2014.

The development was completed, and the pitches were completed in 2019 but the changing facilities and interlinked utilities have not been created.

The transfer to the town council cannot take place until the work is done, and the pitches cannot be used until then. The pitches have subsequently fallen into disrepair.

A spokesperson for Persimmon Homes said: “Persimmon Homes is committed to resolving the final legal matters and transfer the open space and pitches at the earliest opportunity.

““We understand that all parties are aligned to ensure this final obligation under the planning permission is achieved promptly.”

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