Fight is on to stop Jaguar Land Rover building on Solihull social club
Hundreds of residents have backed a petition to save a Solihull social club and playing fields under threat of development.
By lunchtime on Tuesday, more than 1,300 people had put their names to an online appeal, set up in support of the much-loved Land Rover Sports and Social Club.
The Change.org petition had been launched a week on from news that Jaguar Land Rover is planning to use the land neighbouring its factory to create a new car park.
The petition argues that the venue was set-up by employees of the car giant as “a meeting place” and that “hundreds” of people made use of the facilities each week.
It went on: “This is the only open green space on the Damsonwood estate and is used every day by the residents.
“Years ago another application was rejected for housing under the terms this was an open green space. Let’s keep it that way!”
In the few days since it went live, huge numbers of residents have thrown their weight behind the campaign.
Many were concerned that locals would be robbed of a valuable green space and community “asset” if the proposals went ahead.
Rita Wiggins said she had fond memories of playing sports and games at the site as a child.
“This was the club that my dad and brother used after a long day on the line,” she said.
“As a young girl my father took me every Saturday and Sunday.”
Ann Rowles said: “The parking is good and the amenities are spot on.
“JLR should be ashamed of themselves to even consider this proposal.”
And Stephanie Muir claimed it would be “criminal” to turn the playing fields into a “concrete patch”.
“This is a beautiful green space that has been and is still being used by many members of the community for rest, relaxation and exercise!”
The club has a sizeable membership and plays host to a raft of community groups and grassroots sports teams.
Jaguar Land Rover has confirmed that it has served notice on part of the sports field and that the club’s lease on the remainder of the site was unlikely to be extended when the current agreement expires.
It claimed that the car park plan was part of its strategy to improve staff facilities at the Lode Lane plant.
A spokesman said: “Jaguar Land Rover is working closely with the club and relevant parties to ensure a smooth transfer over the next 12 months.”
Read more: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/fight-stop-jaguar-land-rover-16327935