A RIBBLE Valley cricket club is ‘fighting for its life’ against plans to construct a new housing estate on its ground.

Chipping Cricket Club is set to take on land owners SCPi Bowland Ltd in a court battle in May with the developer pushing for the club to vacate its base of 65 years.


The club’s members, backed by many village residents, are bidding to raise £5,000 for the legal costs to fight the company’s move to evict the club from its Old Hive ground.

Negotiations fell down last year over a proposed relocation to an alternative site but the club has rejected such offers after deeming that the new ground was not suitable.

The club’s president, Malcolm Kenyon, said: “It would be devastating if we were to lose the club as it means a lot to our members and the village as a whole.

“It comes down to the fact that the club does not want to move and the villagers do not want 56 new houses in Chipping.

“I’m disappointed that it has got to this stage but we are confident that we will get a fair hearing and the right result.

“We held negotiations with SCPi Bowland last year but their alternative location is unsuitable and the access is over a stone bridge that I’m sure has been there for 1,000 years.

“The affect of a new housing estate in the village could be huge for both the club and the village.”

The club has raised more than £2,800 towards its total so far.

It will contest a three-day tribunal hearing in Manchester from May 6 with the Land Registry and SCPi Bowland Ltd.

The court battle comes after a plan for 56 homes at the cricket club, along with a proposal to convert the Grade II-listed Kirk Mill in the village into an 18-bed hotel was thrown out by Ribble Valley Borough Council last year.

Stephen Chicken of SCPi Bowland said it had no desire to stop play. He said: “SCPi are the respondents, not plaintiff in the lands tribunal case due in May, the club instigated this action.

“The club’s future is in their own hands our proposals offer a greatly enhanced facility, subject of course, to planning approval.

“The facts speak for themselves – since we bought the site in March 2011, we have not, nor will we stop cricket in Chipping.”