Below are the responses from Labour and Liberal Democrats on their party policies towards the Civil Service Sports Ground.
Liberal Democrat (Cllr Adrian Vinson)
I can assure you that our group has no policy to change the local plan allocation for this land from open space. However as you know the land as been acquired by a developer who (presumably) hopes to be able to get permission at some point to develop at least part of the land (perhaps - and I am only guessing here - offering to trade some form of conveyance of part either to the Council or the school as accessible public space in return for development rigts on the rest). The point Cllr Russell was I think making is that we may need at some stage to consider whether we (the Council) are prepared to negotiate with the land owner if we wish to ensure that 'open space' is available for use by the school as I believe it has been in the past, but on a 'grace and favour' basis. You will recall we had a less than satisfactory attitude to access to this land on the part of the CSSA. What I believe we have at present is open space but not space with rights of public access and use.
Labour (Cllr June Bridle)
There should be absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the Labour group want to see the space retained as open and not developed for housing or anything else. There is little enough green space in the area and to lose this would only make matters worse.
I think what Matt had got into is mind was, should there be any doubt in the revised Local Plan about the WHOLE site, then any housing that should arise from say an appeal on a planning application to the Planning Inspectorate, must be affordable. But please be in no doubt about our view - it should remain as open space for use by local residents, schools etc. and we will do all in our power to fight any plans that may come forward to attempt to alter its current status. After all is said and done that is why we insisted the funding for a possible purchase had to be included in last year's budget reserve.