GREEN Belt farmland on the edge of a Chester village has approval to become a recreation ground.
The application for the change of use has been made close to Penfold Way in Dodleston by Dodleston and District Parish Council.
A previous scheme with an access from Penfold Way was withdrawn following objections.
The parish council now says the field will be reached from an existing access on Church Road.
Councillors argue there is a shortfall of recreation space in the parish and a “long standing aspiration” to provide a cricket pitch.
A public meeting was attended by 90 occupiers and councillors met people living near the field.
A questionnaire was also circulated in the parish newsletter.
“We intend to continue with a more detailed consultation ending in a full planning application for development of the field as open space and recreation at a later date.
“As such, at this stage the design is not determined,” says the council.
Approval for the change of use will enable it to apply for grants.
The County Engineer says he has concerns about the possible future of the field and its access.
Although the existing access, with some improvements, is acceptable for the change from agricultural to recreational, he suggests it should be considered in any future application for development on the field.
He believes the use of the land for sport and recreation is unlikely to lead to significant extra traffic.
A report says there is a requirement for additional sport and recreational facilities in most rural villages.
A public open space assessment carried out by the city council has identified a particular need for a cricket pitch in Dodleston.
The proposed recreation ground adjoins the edge of the village and planning officers believe it will allow for the provision of essential local facilities without creating an out of keeping feature in the countryside.
They pointed out that no details regarding landscaping or equipment had been submitted but said these could be controlled through conditions as could any lighting.
Any subsequent proposals for buildings would require planning permission.
City councillors heard it is not thought there will be unacceptable levels of activity or noise which would affect residential amenity.
Any night time use of the land could be controlled through agreement of times during which any lighting would be switched off.
Chester's planning board heard there was both support and opposition for the field.
It was suggested there was no longer a need for a cricket pitch and that formal activity should not take place so close to the built-up part of the village.
Planning chairman Cllr Andrew Storrar (Con, Saughall) pointed out there was no parking and said he would like to see this included.
Newton Brook City Cllr Terri Gray (Con) referred to the land as Green Belt and asked if the car park would have a grassed appearance.
Cllr Storrar moved approval and this was agreed on a 13-0 vote subject to a parking condition.