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Voters in favour of new look for their village sports field

By Somerset Guardian  |  Posted: January 31, 2013

Peter Downey

Peter Downey

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Villagers voted overwhelmingly in favour of plans to transform their playing field in a referendum at the weekend.

More than 300 residents turned out to vote on Saturday in a poll called by the parish council in Wellow to gauge public feeling on a scheme put forward by local sports fans.

The result was 198 people in favour and 118 against the proposals which will make more use of the playing field.

There was also a petition in favour organised by two 15-year-olds Barney Handel and Barnaby Wheeler, signed by 35 people under the official voting age of 16.

The Wellow Sports Project proposals are for a sports pavilion and hard tennis courts with fencing and lighting, outdoor gym equipment, cricket nets and a running track.

There are also plans to reduce the size of the football pitch so it can be used for five or seven-a-side games.

Parish council chairman Hugh Prentice said the parish council would give the vote the weight it deserved when making a decision.

The parish council is due to meet on Monday, February 11, but a special meeting could be called earlier to discuss the project.

Mr Prentice said: "I am very pleased with the turnout and I am very glad that there was a decisive majority, and the parish council will be giving it the weight it deserves."

He said the parish council understood the concerns of villagers who had voted against the scheme and they would also be taken into account.

Project chairman Peter Downey said the number of people who turned out to vote had been quite extraordinary.

Mr Downey said the group welcomed the convincing support of the village, and called on the parish council to now back the scheme.

He said: "Now that the village has spoken, we ask those who voted against to accept this and to support the aim of bringing more activities and as many sports as can be organised to the playing field for the benefit of all."

Mr Downey said that one of the most gratifying things that came from the referendum was the involvement of the village's youngsters.

See letters, page 12

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