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Campaigners to stop the former Royal Marines site becoming a cricket club and community sports ground met with the landowner and a special panel from Kent County Council at the woods before it was decided an official inquiry should determine Coldblow’s fate.
The row was sparked when owners TG Claymore erected fencing around the woods preventing walkers using it. They later ploughed the wild meadow in the South field preparing it for use as a cricket club.
Roger Chatfield, a member of the Save Coldblow Woods campaign group, said: “One member of the panel suggested that there was sufficient evidence already to register the northern plot of land without the need to refer to public inquiry.
“However, the registration officer suggested that, as the southern plot was being referred, the northern plot could similarly be considered at the inquiry.
Local farmer John Ledger owns the North field. But the South field has caused the controversy.
It has been leased to Ringwould Cricket Club, a new venture started up by solicitor Nicholas Fielding, who owns TG Claymore.
His plans are to stop people using the woods and hold cricket matches there, siting a mobile pavilion and changing rooms. He wants a running track for use by other clubs and Deal Town Rangers has expressed an interest in using the site for matches.
Mr Chatfield said the inquiry would not take place until May or June 2014.
“In the new year we will start approaching people who have expressed a willingness to act as witnesses.
“We hope that many will come forward to act as witnesses.
“For legal reasons we can only consider residents of Walmer or residents from between 1992-2012.
“People who used the land for the full 20 years and who might have photographs of Coldblow during this period would be particularly useful, but we would also appreciate hearing from others who used the land for a shorter time.”
To become a witness, contact Roger Chatfield on 01304 363912 or email email@example.com
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