VIDEO: residents clash with officials over future of popular sports ground

‘UNDERHAND’ deals to bar access to a popular sports ground when Worthing’s new academy is built were strongly denied by councillors at a heated meeting on Friday.

Residents fear they could lose access to the Manor Sports Ground when the 900-pupil academy opens in Broadwater Road next year.

Residents gather at the Manor Sports Ground on Sunday to show their support to the action group. SUS-141027-124030001

Residents gather at the Manor Sports Ground on Sunday to show their support to the action group. SUS-141027-124030001

The academy’s sponsor, Bohunt, indicated plans were ‘well advanced’ to secure the ground in an FAQ leaflet, sparking concerns that led to the meeting, at Queen Street Community Church, in Queen Street, Worthing.

“The document has certainly given many people in this town the indication that some jiggery pokery is going on for them to be doing some deal in advance with Bohunt,” said Barbara Cook, of Kingsland Road, Worthing.

Worthing borough and West Sussex county councillors joined Bohunt chief executive Neil Strowger to answer residents’ questions.

They stressed no deals had been done, despite ‘communication issues’.

For an extended special report, see tomorrow’s Herald (Thursday, October 30).