Solution for Aylestone Meadows

11th January, 2011

Having been contacted by local people who are concerned about the proposed football development on Aylestone Meadows, I went and had another look myself at the weekend.

It is clear  that local people have a point. This is a very special part of the city, a haven of green space and wildlife, just a few minutes from the busy Aylestone Road. There is already a football pitch and clubhouse and this was being well used on Saturday. However it is not difficult to see how further development with its car parking and floodlights will dramatically alter and damage this peaceful natural environment.

Even though I fully  supported the the bid for the new football facilities in the first place, I support the view that we should not develop on Aylestone Meadows.   We have managed to agree all of the other new pitches and club houses without opposition, so we ought to spend some time and effort looking for a solution to this problem and listening to local people. I think that there is a solution. We can move the whole proposal to another site and two obvious options are Knighton Park and Riverside College.

I have written to my colleagues on the City Council Cabinet urging them to look at these sites as a practical way forward which delivers new football facilities and protects Aylestone Meadows.

Let me know what you think. Poll closes at the end of January.  

Should the Council develop new football facilities on Aylestone Meadows?

  • Yes (67%, 324 Votes)
  • No (33%, 162 Votes)

Total Voters: 486

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  5. Mary Rooks

    8th February, 2011

    I live in Blaby, and work as a Secretary at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. Many times I have walked half of the journey home through Aylestone Meadows and it is wonderful. I have even, occasionally, walked half of the morning journey to work, through this area – especially in winter when the homeward journey would be too dark.
    This beautiful area has improved over the last 20 years that I have lived near Leicester, and it really must be preserved. I have taken American relatives there, as it is easily accessible by bus – and Americans need to use buses! They were very impressed. My sister-in-law has connections with De Montfort Uni – some of her Students from South Carolina spend a year at De Montfort. She took care to tell her students how easy it is to walk down to Aylestone from the city centre – in the interests of their health as well as their enjoyment. Thousands of students come to Leicester every year, and we want them to spend more time looking at nature, and less time in nightclubs – dont we?
    This area is really really important to all generations.

  6. P. Jones

    5th February, 2011

    What happened to the council’s green credentials ? ‘Europes first environmental city’ – Why does the council need to develop not only ‘greenbelt’ but also unique habitat land?
    Why not shelve this plan for 10 years or so then look at it again? Why has the council got money for this one sided development? Why cant the council afford to provide basic services?… Jusy WHY ???? !

  7. Ross Willmott

    2nd February, 2011

    Dear Gemma,
    many thanks for your comment.I have edited slightly, to avoid either of us getting into trouble!

    Ross W

  8. Suzi Druce

    1st February, 2011

    Whilst I fully agree that the council should provide better sports facilities, I believe there are other sites that could be used which don’t support as much biodiversity as Aylestone Meadows.
    Please do not spoil this unique area.
    Kind regards,

  9. Catherine Pruden

    1st February, 2011

    I beg you NOT to build on this site! I strongly protest.
    This is a special site for wildlife, and further up towards Glen Parva a group of us look after rescued horses.
    These horses are ‘OUR LIFE’
    Please, please do not build!
    Soon, there will be no green land left.
    Kind regards,

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  11. RF

    29th January, 2011

    Because it’s easier to flatten a harmless bit of wilderness than it is to clean up a nasty bit of industrial sprawl that could really benefit?

    Sports = good, Wildlife = good, but lets not say we’re dooming a generation of children to obesity and/or crime by not giving them another football pitch. That is just a guilt trip, and a bit of an insult to everyone who grew up a health, law abiding citizen okay without sports facilities!

    There are other games, other facilities… why not go for a walk or a bike ride somewhere: for example, around Aylestone Meadows? You might even learn some botany or zoology while you’re at it.

  12. jane woods

    29th January, 2011

    How many cities are home to such a diverse area that can be enjoyed by joggers, cyclists, families, walkers, bird watchers, anglers etc. just a short distance from their city centres. Suggestions on this site that the nimby objectors are happy to let their children stay in to watch telly is ridiculous (Ivor Finn). The NIMBY objectors are the sorts of families that currently enjoy all aspects of this unique nature reserve and get their kids out of the house to enjoy the natural environment (football is just one activity, there are plenty of other ways to stay fit and healthy!!).
    Really this should be a no brainer, upgrade the current established pitches on Aylestone Playing Fields that the council have allowed to deteriorate then find a suitable site to build the clubhouse and facilities for the two adult football teams that will be the main beneficiaries of this development…which seems a fact that many people are forgetting, the area objectors are against will be home to just two teams! The current facilities planned won’t even have enough changing rooms to enable all the teams to play at any one time…..please take the time to learn more about the real issues behind this ludricous scheme..if it was on Bradgate Park I think more people would realise how dangerous it is to allow valuable green space to be built on.

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  14. Kirsty

    28th January, 2011

    Surely there are areas within the city that are disused/derelict that could be built on?
    The recent survey also showed that other city wards have far less outdoor sports areas so why disrupt and damage what is a valuable area of the city?

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  16. Liz Henze

    27th January, 2011

    Build more sports facilities, I’m sure they are needed, but just not there. There must be other places the council could choose.

  17. Brendon Batson

    26th January, 2011

    Supporting GNG

  18. Henry

    25th January, 2011

    As an athlete myself I have a keen appreciation of the importance of football facilities to our society – but Aylestone meadows is a dreadful site to choose. It isn’t my back yard, but it IS a nature reserve and a vital part of the local ecosystem.

    Please do build new facilities, but not on this fragile and important part of Leicester’s future. Aylestone Meadows needs orchards planting, not tarmac.

  19. charlie

    25th January, 2011

    i don’t personally live near here. but my ex girlfriend lives very close to here and i used to like the area and i think it would be a shame if they built on it.

  20. Jaz Hayer

    25th January, 2011

    I think the football ground should go ahead, it will also increase job opportunities and provide a safe environment for kids and keeps them off the street.

  21. Rani Uppelle

    24th January, 2011

    I fully support the development for new pitches to be built on Aylestone Meadows!!!!!!
    Keep kids off the streets and provide more facilities for them to get involved !!!!!!

  22. Colin

    23rd January, 2011

    The question is not ‘should there be sports facilities’ but ‘should the sports facilities be there’. This is not a redevelopment of the existing facilities; this is moving onto an area of wild, green land. Why can’t the existing facilities be developed, and the meadows, loved by many, be left alone?

  23. Peter Spiewak

    22nd January, 2011

    I support this development as I believe that facilities for sport should take a precedence . Keeping fit and going green are part of modern life

  24. Charan Johal

    22nd January, 2011

    The media is constantly referring to the children these days as becoming more obese than many years ago. How strange that we now have to debate whether or not sports facilities need to be provided. The powers-to-be and decision makers need to look at matters more seriously and provide the necessary facilities putting aside politics.

    I fully support the development.

  25. Roy Hubbarde

    22nd January, 2011

    there was always sports facilities on the meadows.I can remember being bussed from Westcotes Secondary Modern School for Football on Friday afternoons and doing our Cross Country training there also.

    therefore I support this development

  26. Carole Westnedge

    22nd January, 2011

    I fully support this development.

  27. Andy Talbott

    21st January, 2011

    The development of new sporting facilities on Aylestone Meadows should be widely applauded and supported by all parents and sportminded people.Having been actively involved in local football since my schooldays I have seen the rich benefits these activities bring especially in character building and the discipline that organised teamwork produces,so important in young people.I to noticed Ivor Finn’s comments and I also played a lot of local football on Coalpitt Lane as it was then named,fond memories.
    Having been born and bred in Aylestone Park I also remember many happy hours enjoying the canal and river wildlife at various stages along lifes way,consequently I feel very strongly about my final comment……’there is room for us all,enjoy!’.

    Andy Talbott

  28. Randeep Singh Sahota

    21st January, 2011

    Get youngsters off the streets, out of crime. Get them on the pitch; keeps them out of trouble, keeps them safe and healthy and it opens the gateway to bring communities together.

  29. Ivor Finn

    21st January, 2011

    In 1960 there were 19 football pitches on “Coalpit Lane”, all fully occupied every Saturday afternoon.
    When Sunday Football was finally allowed by the City Council a few years later (many years after other UK cities had been playing Sunday Football on the parks) many teams played on Braunstone Lane East.
    These days Aylestone is full of NIMBYS who obviously think their kids are better off watching TV than playing football.

    Ivor Finn MUTUAL (mini-soccer) League Secretary 1960 – 2008, and former Chairman and President County FA.


    11th January, 2011

    We all agree that other sites should be looked at rather than present blinkered obsession with the Meadows land.

    Thanks for your support

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