THERE are fears for the future of Barnt Green Cricket Club because of a housing development next to the team’s Douglas ground.
The close proximity of the properties off Fiery Hill Road – some 30metres – means nets will need to be put up to prevent balls from going astray on match days.
However the club says the nets will cost in excess of £60,000 and that is money that it just does not have in its coffers.
It was hoping the developers would fund the nets but CALA Homes, which is behind the project, has offered just £20,000 towards them.
Membership secretary Stuart Johnston told The Standard: “It is just not safe for cricket to be played there as a ball could hit houses, cars or even worse, people.
“If a cricket ball hits a person it could seriously injure them or even kill them.
“Without the money there will be no nets and without the nets, no cricket can be played and that will mean we will be unable to continue.”
It was thought the nets would have to be 16m tall and the club was asked to get an independent report commissioned into the situation.
When that was done by Labosport it recommended the nets would have to be at least 24metres.
Mr Johnston added: “We have had meetings with both Bromsgrove District Council and CALA Homes.
“Now the Labosport report is in, the council appear to have gone quiet on the subject.
“With regard to CALA Homes, they keep reiterating that they have offered £20,000, but that is not enough.
“We feel because it is their development that has led to this problem, they should fund the netting project in its entirety.”
A spokesperson for CALA Homes (Midlands) said they met with BGCC on May 29 to discuss the concerns raised over the close proximity of the ground to the development and a firm commitment to fund netting up to the value of £20,000 was made.
“We received the Labosport report on September 2 and responded to BGCC to confirm that briefs had been sent out to contractors to obtain accurate quotes for the work to be carried out based on the report’s recommendations.
“CALA is under no obligation to fund the netting but as a considerate housebuilder we have proactively engaged with BGCC on this matter.
“We will continue to work closely with the cricket club and Bromsgrove District Council to find a satisfactory solution which will endeavour to secure the future of the club.”
A Bromsgrove District Council spokesperson said: “We are currently working with the cricket club and CALA Homes to find an appropriate solution to the issues that have been raised with regards to this application.”