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Last Updated: Friday, 9 December 2005, 09:47 GMT
Row over cricket pitch store plan
Wimborne Cricket Club
The proposed new site is outside the town centre
Proposals to build a supermarket on a cricket pitch in Dorset have been met with strong opposition.

Waitrose's plans to build a store on the cricket green in Wimborne Minster have been criticised by local action group Keep Wimborne Town Green.

They say the field, which has been untouched for more than a century, should remain a green space.

A spokesman for Waitrose said that half the site would still be devoted to public open space.

Philip Atlay, from Keep Wimborne Town Green, said: "Wimborne was identified as one of the most desirable places to live in the UK in a survey a couple of years ago.

Waitrose plans
The plans for the new store are on show at a public exhibition

"Part of that attraction is the ambiance of the town to which this green contributes so much."

But Nigel Burton, from Waitrose, said: "They're expecting to see the whole of the old cricket green covered in concrete and tarmac and in fact what we're producing is a small food store.

"Half the site will be devoted to public open space and the cricket club gets a new cricket ground up to county standards."

The cricket club itself is keen to move to the proposed new ground outside the town centre.

President David Lawes said: "The cricket club lease has come to an end and we were offered by our landlords the opportunity to move to a new ground with all new facilities and the cricket club considers that is its best for the future."

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