5:00pm Thursday 12th April 2012
Exasperated officials at Devizes Sports Club are calling for residents of the new houses by Quakers Walk to stop using their land as a short cut.
Instead of walking up London Road, past police headquarters and into the new estate road, some residents are walking up the entrance road to the sports club, over grass used for cricket pitches and climbing over the perimeter fence.
Les Welling, a member of the sports club and a health and safety consultant, said the problem began last year when people moved into the new houses at Quakers Walk and it is happening almost daily.
He said: “I have seen a pregnant woman – she was at least six months pregnant – walk across the grass and climb over the fence to get to the houses. I have seen a lady pushing a buggy and with two other children do the same.
“On Monday there was a couple walking behind a gang mower. I said to the man ‘do you realise this is private land?’ and he gave me a mouthful of abuse.
“Other officials at the club have asked people nicely to desist but they have got a mouthful of abuse in return. They don’t take the slightest bit of notice, we are at our wits’ end.
“Our concern is their health and safety, it’s quite a dangerous area. They could get hit by a cricket ball or a tennis ball. Our mowers are going all the time and the operators wear ear defenders so will not hear anything. If people carry on walking across the grass they are going to tread a path across the cricket pitch.”
Mr Welling and club chairman Tony Grant said they had put notices up saying the land was private and to keep out, but they had been ripped off.
Mr Welling said one option was to put up a higher perimeter fence but said it would cost thousands of pounds, which the club cannot afford.
Mr Grant said since the houses were built there had been a problem with dog mess on a rugby pitch.
He also fears the situation will get worse when the new primary school opens after Easter and a children’s play area is built.
Club officials have decided to deliver letters to householders warning them of the dangers of walking across the sports ground and asking them not to do so.
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