Still a way to go on decisions across the board

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Longridge Cricket Club president and former chairman Tom Croft has backed current chairman Tom Haworth and Longridge Town Council over the way Barratt Homes announced its intention to submit a planning application for the club without informing officials

“I am very concerned the application news has come out in this way,” said Mr Croft.

“We still have a considerable way to go on decisions across the board and are not going to be pushed about by outside people. I agree with the council’s and Tom’s feelings about safety surrounding the whole of the proposed development. The council has always supported us and Tom leads a great team as dedicated chairman in all aspects for the good of its members.

“The club is about people, not houses...we breed our own players, no imports. Look at Flintoff and others - we want our young players to follow their example, play sports, keep off the streets, plan strong futures.

“Our club is a big operation - 15 teams, starting young right to the top, 364 games this season. Support is phenomenal from the town, great membership, huge parental input and successful fundraising at social events.

“We are a damn good club and, preparing for the future, we need to go forward steadily and chronologically.”

Mr Croft felt planning could not be rushed with the certainty that, at the end of the day, the sighting of the club must come before any houses are built.

The job was to plan a sequence of events with the planners and Barratts, and move forward as one.

“If consent isn’t given, we stay as we are,” Mr Croft stated. “If it goes ahead as we state, everyone is happy and the town should then be better off with the new ground.”

At their meeting, the town council decided to write to Barratt Homes expressing surprise at last week’s sudden announcement and requesting clarification of their proposals.

Mr Croft has been connected with Longridge Cricket Club for 40 years and 10 years chairman of Lancashire Playing Fields Association.