Feathers have been ruffled at Sport England after it emerged it had not been consulted on retrospective plans to change the use of the Wheelbarrow Castle playing field at Easebourne to a village green for community space including a children’s playground.
Easebourne Parish Council finally negotiated a lease with West Sussex County Council in 2015 to take over the playing field at Easebourne Primary School and create recreational facilities for the community. The agreement which gave the parish council a 50 year lease of the field was a result of four years of talks and last year parish councillors unveiled innovative plans for the new space which included the relocation of the playground from the edge of Easebourne as a priority as the lease was up and much of the play equipment had come to the end of its life.
Parish councillors submitted a retrospective plan to the national park before Christmas seeking permission to change of use of playing field to village green.
But Sport England who were not immediately consulted, now say they should have been a statutory consultee: “Procedurally, it is important Sport England be formally consulted on this application as a matter of some urgency,” they told national park planners.