Save Oakfield builds up war chest

Oakfield protesters before the Co-op closed the rec NNL-170301-101813001
Oakfield protesters before the Co-op closed the rec NNL-170301-101813001

Campaigners are gearing up to be in the best possible position to continue the fight for Oakfield rec as the crunch planning appeal looms.

In the autumn the Save Oakfield group started a fighting fund ready for when Heart of England Co-op’s appeal over the rejection of its controversial housing plan goes before a planning inspector.

It started an online crowdfunding page so it would be able to put forward its case supported by expert advice.

Spokesman Richard Joy said: “The Co-op’s Appeal is now in full swing, so the battle becomes very technical and is based on planning policy and legislation.

“At present, we anticipate the appeal being heard any time from late April 2017.

“In addition to the letters of objection to Rugby Borough Council relating to the original application, a further 24 letters were sent to the Planning Inspectorate specifically describing the immediate impact that the temporary loss of Oakfield has already had.”

And he added the appeal for financial support had helped them take a key step: “Save Oakfield has had tremendous financial support from the local community in raising funds to allow us to seek the services of a professional planning consultant.

“We have now been able to appoint a local firm which is actively preparing our case.

“Now we know what is involved there is still a shortfall in funds, and we still need to raise about another £1,500 by the time the appeal is heard.

“We will be making a final call to anyone who is able to support us with fundraising but, in the meantime, if any of your readers can help we would be so grateful if they would visit saveoakfield.co.uk or gofundme.com/saveoakfield to pledge whatever they can, however small.

“A little extra financial backing will allow us to authorise the planning consultants to finish the job they have started.