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Residents oppose new Hurling pitch planned for Radlett Road playing fields
Central Watford residents have raised flooding, parking and children’s safety concerns over a new Irish sports pitch proposed for the area.
Watford Borough Council has submitted an application for a new Hurling pitch at Radlett Road Playing Fields.
The proposals would involve levelling the existing sports field, filling in pot holes, building a new changing block for 80 people, and providing 18 new parking spaces.
Roz Reeve, who is a member of the The Radlett Road Residents Association, said parking was a "massive" concern.
The association is made up of around 13 neighbours, some of which lost their right to park in front of their homes due to the Reeds Development and the Orphanage Road Roundabout.
Mrs Reeve, a childcare worker, said: "Parking is horrendous and it will be made so much worse.
"There has been mention of 100 spectators for important Hurling games and I do not know where they will all park.
"There was also a bus time table provided suggesting people could travel by bus - despite the W20 not running after 15.03 and not running on a Sunday.
"This proposal is a shame because the park is one where people go to relax and this will be taken over by a sport that isn’t even popular."
Radlett Road Playing Fields are located between the River Colne and Radlett Road, and other residents are concerned about flooding.
Martin Flammia said: "We have residents that have lived here for over 40 years and only recently have they observed flooding. Before then there was more a natural presence in the area to soak up water.
"Adding more development in the area to divert water flow instead of building better preventions is very much a concern.
"We love living in this area, with great neighbours and years of investment into our property and trying to bring up a family, it is a real worry."
Hurling is a fast-paced Gaelic game where player use a stick and broader oval blade.
Mr Flammia’s wife Thelma said she was concerned about her children playing near the fields.
The 33-year-old placement officer added: "I believe there won't be any fencing and how will they protect the residents in the area if a ball is thrown 100 mph then comes flying into my garden or a neighbours - as the corner of the pitch only stops few feet from my garden.
"It will limit my children or other family members being in my garden or around the house just in case a ball comes hurdling towards them."
The council previously submitted an application for the fields, but withdrew it after concerns that flooding issues were not addressed.
Mr Flammia, 40, continued: "The whole proposal has been a mess from the start, with the first application being a complete shambles and rejected just before recent elections, which gave us all a sign of relief, to being reinstated again immediately after with what looks like heavy investment in assessments and glossy brochures."