LETTER: 'Has our council become a dictatorship?'

Penny Field, Clevedon.

Penny Field, Clevedon. - Credit: Google Maps

I am sad to read North Somerset Council plans to build 44 homes on Penny Field, Clevedon, as discussed in a document on future developments for the land it owns.

This is not correct. That land is not owned by the council - it was entrusted to them by the people!

The playing field was an allotment in the 1800s for the poor people of Clevedon and was bought for pennies, hence its name.

Later it was changed to a playing field for the children of Clevedon in the 1950s and has been a playing field ever since.

During the 1960s and 1970s, it had a football pitch marked out and children's play equipment (swings and a slide) was installed at the south end of Churchill Avenue.

This field, adjacent to Strode Road and Churchill Avenue, is one of only three green spaces left in the centre of Clevedon, and is in an area surrounded by flats and a council estate.

It is in fact the only open space for children to use and serves the residents of Churchill Avenue, Westbourne Avenue, Strode Road, Coleridge Vale and Wordsworth Road.

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This amenity was left to the people of Clevedon and was unfortunately held, in trust, by North Somerset Council who conveniently have no record of any covenant, lost the deeds regarding the land and say they can do what they like with it! (This excuse was also used for Marshalls Field).

Along with the terrible state of affairs on Hill Road, I do feel at this time we are living in a dictatorship similar to 1930s Europe. The tail seems to be wagging the dog!

I have in the past talked with my councillor regarding this field and lack of listening in the council on the matter, sadly he had no interest in the subject other than it was a done deal.

The council talks constantly about being 'environmental' yet are permitting the building on every and any green space they can find. 

We are being told what is best for us, and not what is best for future generations.

I feel great shame and embarrassment of the legacy we are leaving.

ANTONY PAYNTER

The Leys, Clevedon