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Pilot Field Redevelopment

Summary Objections

Financial (most significant) (references are to the sections in the report from the Council's Managing Director):

  • Lack of a viable business plan, (para 7)

  • No agreement reached on a profit-sharing mechanism (para 7)

  • Little or no satisfactory consultation with local residents in the areas affected (para 7)

  • No response to the draft heads of terms proposed by the council in 2018 (para 8)

  • No viable scheme or draft agreement to discuss (para 9)

  • HUFC is a privately owned football club whereas the council is a public body and as a local authority, fully accountable and under a statutory duty to protect the interests of its residents and the community as a whole while, minimising financial risk (para 32)


  • The site is owned by HBC and was gifted to them in 1922 for recreational purposes.

  • The club has a full repairing lease on the Pilot Field site.

  • The current and previous owners of the club have NOT honoured the terms of the full repairing lease at the Pilot Field ever since 1999 to carry out repairs to the stadium

  • Repairs to the stadium have not been done for almost 20 years and Council Officers have not visited the site, nor enforced the lessee repairing terms of the lease or many more years if the repairs are done soon. (cost c. £150,000)The stadium can last f


  • The combined green spaces of the Pilot Field, Education Futures Trust (next door to Pilot Field) and Archery Field (next to EFT) all form part of a green space which is a significant feature of the local landscape.  This will be affected badly by the proposed housing development.

  • Increased risk of flooding from the housing development on the Pilot Field is a MAJOR concern.

  • Putting 86 houses on the Pilot Field will make the EXISTING flooding problems much worse for residents downstream.

  • The plans from the developers acknowledge the flooding problems as they propose to set the 86 houses on the Pilot Field to be 300mm (about one foot) ABOVE ground level to mitigate the risks from flooding

Loss of a major community asset

  • The housing proposals do not make provision to replace the existing Sports & Social Club (in the Pilot Field) at the Pilot Field site 

  • However this facility is much used and an exceedingly popular community asset the loss of which would be keenly felt by the local community


  • The Pilot Field is very well located within the community for bus and rail transport links and indeed for walking to (as many supporters do)

  • The proposed Tilekiln Stadium is far out of town and not accessible by public transport.


  • Stadium capacities are

  • Pilot Field stadium 4,000

  • Proposed Tilekiln stadium 1,950;

  • Largest crowd at Pilot Field last season was over 3,000

  • Therefore why build an under capacity stadium at Tilekiln?

  • Capacity of the proposed Tilekiln Stadium is unlikely to be increased as it borders an industrial safety zone

  • Pitches - the elaborate plans just swap two grass pitches at Tilekiln for two 3G pitches.  However 3G pitches will incur environmental and high maintenance costs problems

  • Local clubs at playing on the current Tilekiln grass pitches do not want the expensive 3G pitches

Public consultations by the club with local residents to be affected by the proposals

Main areas of concern:


  • Loss of local facilities: The present Sports and Social Club provides a well used community facility for many local organisations and people.  The loss of it will be felt widely, and have negative social impact, in a deprived ward, and a locality with little community infrastructure.

  • Inadequate Water and Sewage Provision: It is well known fact that local flooding regularly occurs in the areas below the Pilot Field.  The addition of 86 houses will add to this serious problem.

  • Unrealistic Traffic Projections: 86 houses giving rise potentially to 300 plus occupants will increase traffic beyond the proposal's low estimate. This will result in congestion and the Ridge being even more hazardous than it is right now 

  • Insufficient Parking Spaces: Leading to hazards and obstructions associated with increased overflow parking in surrounding roads where bus routes and emergency vehicles are already being obstructed by parked cars.

  • Ecology: A wide diversity of animal and plants are to be found in the development area.  These include protected species.  Badger setts, bat roosts, mature trees and plant indicators of ancient woodland are present. The proposed development will likely encroach on woodland as artist site impressions are overly optimistic with regard to the space required by the build.   Suggestions about protecting the ecology are not sufficiently detailed in plans

Pilot Field Redevelopment: Welcome

Reasons to Object

Social Impact

The proposal offers nothing to compensate for the loss of the well used Sports and Social Club and the football club which would have a negative social impact in a deprived ward and a locality with little other community infrastructure.    


The Tilekiln facilities would not offer a viable alternative given the distance and inconvenience of getting across town.


Traffic and parking

The proposal underestimates the volume of traffic created by 300+ occupants which will result in congestion, more rat runs, and the Ridge becoming even more hazardous.

The proposal provides inadequate parking for residents and none for visitors leading to hazards and obstructions associated with increased overflow parking in surrounding roads where pedestrians, buses and emergency vehicles are already hampered by parked cars.

Water and Sewage

The proposal offers inadequate drainage of water and sewage provision for 86 houses adding to the existing problem of local flooding, sewage overflow and erosion regularly occurring in several roads downhill from the Pilot Field.


Nature and Greenspace

The proposal lacks sufficiently detailed plans to protect the local ecology containing a wide diversity of animals and plants including protected species around the Pilot Field.  These include badger setts, bat roosts, mature and rare trees and plant’s plant indicators of ancient woodland.  Developer’s plans are overly optimistic regarding the space required by the development which will encroach on the surrounding woodland.

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