a boy and a spaniel
A boy plays in the field with his dog

An Oakfield resident says she is “devastated” at proposals to build a 3G pitch on a field near her home. This week the long grass on the site has been cut back in what she describes as a “football pitch” shape.

A new 3G pitch on the playing fields at the site of the former Llantarnam Comprehensive School was part of the deal when plans were approved in 2015 for 226 new homes on James Prosser Way. Barratt Homes was told to pay £859,094  to compensate the community for the loss of three playing pitches and the leisure centre. That cash and some other contributions from developers (known as S106 agreements) in the area has led to a total of £1,099,633 being available.

The decision by councillors earlier this month to progress the idea and get plans drawn up and submitted for a planning permission decision has led to a local resident speaking out at the possible loss of the field. She said she was surprised to see council staff visit the site twice in the last two weeks and cut back a large area of overgrown grass

The resident, who asked not to be named, walks her dogs in the field every day of the week. She told Cwmbran Life: “They’ve cut it again today, they’ve cut loads more. Apparently, it’s to show where the football pitch would go. I just feel that we’ve got pitches at the stadium, the boating lake and in Llanyrafon. There are no dog-walking fields.  I just feel like it’s all being taken all away.

a playing field
A photo of the field taken on Friday 21 October 2022 showing how a large area of grass has been cut back

“I’m not a moaner or a whinger, it’s our sanctuary. Nobody has wanted to know about this field for all these years. When you speak to people they say there is nothing you can do. If they’ve cut the grass now,  why can’t they put lines on the grass and if people want to play football, they can? People will have to pay to use the new pitch. It’s free now.

“I’ve gone down there today and they might as well have cut the whole field. I’m absolutely devastated.” She said dogs loved exploring the long grass.

a field
This photo was taken in August and shows the field before the grass was cut back

“I’m not opposed to sport. I grew up massively into gymnastics, and my husband did swimming. My boys love going in the field and the woods with their friends. They won’t be able to use it without paying for it.”

She said she may get leaflets printed to hand out to people who use the field to form an opposition group to make sure their views are heard before planning decision is made.

“I know it sounds drastic but it will change our day-to-day lives. We go to work, we get home, and we walk our dogs. One of them is a springer and needs a good walk. It’s so nice down there. We like to meet dog-walking friends.

“It’s our community field, we love it.”

a springer spaniel
A spaniel in the field on a frosty morning

Response from Torfaen Council

A Torfaen Council spokesperson said: “Part of this open space has been cut to improve recreational use and also to determine the condition of the ground and improve where necessary. The area cut is not intended to demarcate where the proposed 3G pitch could go. The Council has resolved to progress a 3G pitch on site, but this will be subject to detailed survey work, design and an application for planning permission.”

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