Rumours are swirling around social media regarding the future of Whitchurch Cricket Club (WCC).

Earlier this month a post on Whitchurch Families Facebook page claimed the cricket ground, one of the oldest in the UK, was under threat of development due to Basingstoke and Dean Borough Council's (B&DBC) recently published Local Plan. 

Three planning breifs raise considerable concern for the club: WHIT008, 009 and 010 which outline plans to build on land to the north and east of the ground along with the ground itself. 

Almost 75 homes are outlined in the plans. 

B&DBC, however, have said there are no plans to build on the historic site. 

In a statement B&DBC's head of planning, sustainability and infrastructure, Ruth Ormella, said: “As part of our Local Plan Update we are carrying out an issues and options consultation where people are encouraged to put forward their views on how the borough should be developed over the next 20 years and give their thoughts on the important issues we need to consider.

"It is really important residents, businesses, community groups and organisations input their views at this early stage. A large number of sites have been put forward to the council for consideration for future development through the Local Plan Update process. 

"The site ref WHIT009 was promoted to the council and therefore is included in the Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHLEAA) which effectively lists all sites submitted to the council for consideration.

"The SHELAA states that the site is a cricket ground designated as open space within the Whitchurch Neighbourhood Plan and is located within the Conservation Area.

"As such, it does not meet the criteria for further assessment and therefore it is not included as a site to look at through the Local Plan Update.”

Despite this reassurance the cricket club remain sceptical having cited previous diputes with the B&DBC. 

We will have further comment from the WCC's conservation team later this week.

The Local Plan will be taking public comments until November 9. To read the plan click here.