THE BATTLE to save Oakfield Park has been taken to the top.
Rugby MP Mark Pawsey has asked Communities and Local Government Minister Sajid Javid to intervene and bring what he described as a “vital local asset” back to the public.
The Co-Operative Society, who currently own the Bilton Road field, wanted to use the site to build 50 new homes after cancelling Rugby Borough Council’s lease last year – but their planning application was refused by the council in March.
Despite efforts to secure the future of the recreation ground by protest group Save Oakfield, the Co-Op have fenced off the park and launched an appeal against the planning decision.
Writing to Mr Javid, Mr Pawsey asked him to recover the Oakfield planning appeal – which would allow the Minister to review the decision directly.
Mr Pawsey said: “Oakfield Rec is a vital local asset which has been used for over 30 years by residents, families and sports teams. Losing it would be a major blow to the community and so it is only right that I ask the Secretary of State to intervene in this appeal.
He added he was disappointed the Co-Op launched their appeal and prevented the public from using the park.
He said: “Oakfield Recreation Ground is situated in one of the most densely populated areas of the town which already has insufficient open space, and I have always been firmly opposed to any development on this site.
“Oakfield needs to be protected and I have made this clear in my letter to the Secretary of State.”