Concrete dugouts for Northampton sports field will 'attract youths up to no good', say residents

Plans for new dugouts on a Northampton baseball field have sparked a row over how it could make the pitch a hotspot for anti-social behaviour.

Monday, 15th April 2019, 1:06 pm
Updated Monday, 15th April 2019, 1:17 pm
Dozens of residents have written to throw out the plan for two new dugouts on St Crispin's baseball field.

Northampton Baseball Club have been playing on St Crispins Park for the past three years and must put up temporary nets and shelters for every game and training session.

The team has now asked for permission to build two 2.4 metre-tall permanent dugouts and a 23 metre-long mesh fence in the corner of the field closest to Frank Large Walk.

But more than 30 residents have now written to the council asking them to reject plans for the four-metre high fences and the two shelters.

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The plan would build two concrete dugouts and a 24m fence on the picth.

I object to this proposal," one resident wrote to the council. "I have witnessed antisocial behaviour against our new community centre and fear that such a permanent structure will provide a base for the perpetrators to hang around."

Another resident wrote: "I feel the concrete structures will attract youths up to no good, and graffiti, and the fencing will prevent the community from using the field for a sport that's not particularly popular. They barely use the fields once a week."

Other residents say their view of the park will be "ruined" by the four metre-high fence and want the field to be open "to everyone".

Meanwhile, Duston Parish Council wrote to say they had "serious concerns" about the dugouts attracting anti-social behaviour.

The baseball diamond is used by Northampton Baseball Club on a weekly basis.

However, one resident wrote to "wholeheartedly support" the plan and saying they believed it would boost sports facilities for young people.

The consultation for the plans ended in March, and the results will be put to the borough council's planning committee at a later date.