Plans to build security fence around Soham Village College playing field given the go ahead

PUBLISHED: 17:12 27 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:18 27 September 2018

East Cambs District Council’s planning committee approved plans to build a security fence around Soham Village College playing field. Picture: EAST CAMBS DISTRICT COUNCIL

East Cambs District Council’s planning committee approved plans to build a security fence around Soham Village College playing field. Picture: EAST CAMBS DISTRICT COUNCIL

EAST CAMBS DISTRICT COUNCIL

Plans to build a 1.8m high security fence around a popular social hotspot in Soham has been given the green light.

East Cambs District Council’s planning committee approved plans for a fence to be built around the playing field behind Soham Village College in Sand Street.

The playing field, which is owned by the college, has existing fencing in some parts of the grounds, but plans have been approved for almost the entire remaining tree-lined boundary to be fenced off.

The field is mostly hidden from view of the public highway but is visible from the public footpath which runs along most of the boundary.

It is hoped the fence will “enclose the school playing field and make it secure and safe for students and staff members.”

A report published ahead of the planning committee meeting, which was held on Monday, September 24, states that the plans received three objections from neighbours with one in support.

One objector raised concerns of the fence restricting access onto the field, adding: “I feel very strongly that we have so few decent paths in this area that closing even one is wrong. 
“If you combine this with the fact that the railway line will close several footpaths through Soham this will effectively close all public routes through the centre of the village.

“This is not just a place for walking - it is a social space where people of all ages meet each other and chat.”

Councillor Mark Goldsack also disagreed with the plans, stating: “What is being proposed is effectively the complete isolation from general public of the playing fields.

“I can completely understand that this will provide a safer, cleaner and less costly management requirement for the trust. However, the college was built for Soham’s education needs as well as leisure and wellbeing.”
But one resident in favour of the plans said CCTV cameras should be installed and the gates secured, adding: “It is long overdue given what goes on at night and on weekends.”

The council’s planning committee approved the plans provided the trees on site are adequately protected and the materials for the fencing keeps with the character and appearance of the area.

Work is due to begin within three years.

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